Claude Knowlton Headshot

Thursday, November 18, 2010

AXE Audition Yesterday

My agent calls me with the perfect audition for me. Here is what the breakdown called for:


Hello????? That is so for me right?
Then, he tells me there is a backstory online about the character,

The story goes on and on about "GUY" a Frenchman who grew up surrounded by beautiful women in Paris and his mother had a hair salon and he became a hair model.etc... then it goes on about his conquest to teach men about LOVE and Hair Styles...very funny and very long back story for a "30 sec spot" but I read it about four times and felt good that I could play this "Guy" no problem.

I asked my agent if there were "Sides" and he adviced me to get there early and there might be "Sides".

I hadn't shaved in three days,my hair is the perfect length right now, so I put on my Black Hugo Boss suit, an open very well presses white shirt and my shiniest of shoes and do my hair the best I can.
 I felt really confident about this audition. I get there and indeed they were "Sides". I take them,do not sigh-in and get back in my car working on the sides over and over....

I can't tell you how much the back story helped me to be in the shoes of this character. I got back up there and the Casting Director asks me to first slate, and then improvise about who  "GUY" is, and what is he doing in America etc... So I started with my French accent and sometimes I even spoke in French and the Casting director was elated!

I then did the dialogue given to me and killed it.

The spot is about a kid holding flowers on his way to pick up a girl and GUY sees him with his bad hair. He tells him he needs a hair make-over and give him the AXE Smooth and Sophisticated bottle and help him style his hair...
The Casting Director said he really enjoyed my performance...yeah!!!

They were a couple guys there wearing jeans,had not read the back story and didn't get there early to pick up the sides....Always get to your audition 1 hour early if you can!!!! Things always change!!!

Callbacks are not till the 1st of December ...wish me luck!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Voice-Over is Over!

When I was living in Vancouver my agent started sending me out for voice-over jobs. I started doing lots of Best Buys, Toyo Tires, Future Shop and Mooselight Beers radio spots. I did over 20 different radio spots and three commercials for TOYO Tires alone. All, were in French for Quebec and New Brunswick where they have French radio stations.
I started building a nice Demo Reel of great fun spots. I even did a Japanese cartoon where I played an Italian detective.
I took a few workshops  to learn how to do cartoon voices and other styles of voice work one can do like trailor voices, annoncer voices etc....and learned how to have a home studio. I bought an MBOX Pro-Tool kit, a great mic and off I was doing tags and 30sec spots in my home. I would send the MP3 final cuts to the client and get paid via Pay Pal. Nice little business I had going.

When I moved to  Kitchener Ontario (1 hour outside of Toronto) in 2006 I immediately found out that voice-over work for French Canadians was very Popular. I got an agent called VOX talent. They placed my Demo Reel online and I started booking lots of jobs. Most of them were in French, but once in a while I would do the English version as well. I enjoyed doing voice-work a lot. The pay was great, I rarely had to audition since the clients booked me directly from the agency website. I was paid once a month directly into my bank account and for one whole year I have never even met my agent Dan.
Then, some of the jobs got so far away from acting that I was not enjoying it anymore. I would get these 25 page scripts of training videos for "The Tire Association of North America" and would have to spend hours and hours in a booth talking about how to install tires on big rigs and whatnot... or the worst, were medical transcripts....again, hours in the booth talking about medical stuff I knew nothing about and couldn't even articulate, even in French !!!
I would call my mom for her help since her French is impeccable
(she was taught French by strict nuns, reads a lot and was a secretary by trade.. thanks mom!!!) and spend so much time trying to pronounce words properly and adjust the liaisons etc...French is a very complicated language and since I had left Quebec at 19, I rarely spoke it or read it unless I talked to my family.

I then moved to Montreal and suddenly it all ended for me.

I wasn't part of the Union in Quebec called UDA (Union des Artistes Du Quebec) so I was not allowed to audition for "any" French Voice-Over or French TV commercials...Hence the reason I left Quebec after one year and came back to California.
UDA ended up giving me an apprentice membership which could come in handy if they shoot commercials here. I booked a Pontiac TV commercial last year that required the actor to be fluent in English and French and had to have a SAG and UDA membership.
I am still an apprentice and need 30 full credits to become a full member!!! Crazy Shit!!!!
I have since sold my MBOX and Pro-Tools kit and for the moment concentrating on my "on camera acting" 100%.
My Demos are on my website if you want to listen to them...
It was fun and maybe some day I'll get back into it but for the moment I'm busy enough with my on camera acting!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Paparazzies are following everywhere I go!!!

What's with them anyway?
They are following me at Lemonade, at The Coffee Bean...Ok ok ok maybe Paris Hilton was at Lemonade that day and David Beckham was at The Coffee Bean yesterday, but I really sincerely think they were there for me!!!! LOL
First, I thought "OMG" it's awful to be attacked that way, especially since they were about 20 of them snapping pictures at about two feet away from Ms. Hilton's face inside the small restaurant on Beverly Blvd.
But then, I saw Paris working it like no tomorrow...that girl was posing left and right and was loving every minute of it!!! She was  sporting bright yellow "Happy Face"shoulder pads!!!!

But yesterday, I thought David Beckham who was there to enjoy time with his kids should have been left alone. Until I realized he was sitting facing out towards the cameras. He could have been facing the wall but no no no, Mr Beckham was working it just like Ms. Hilton and sporting a very cool beanie and a 10 day shadow on his gorgeous face!!!
I walked out with my shades on and my coffee in my hands but nobody seemed to care....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saw two shows last night at I.O. West

Bonjour a tous,
Beautiful sunny fall day in Los Angeles....
Went to I.O. West last night to see a couple shows. The first one had nine people on stage and was a bit busy and confusing at time for my taste. I much prefer the Quartet Group which consist of only two guys and two girls.... these guys were funny!!!!
I was asked to perform on stage with a group from an advance class but I am not ready at all.
I must say, I was scared shitless for years to even attempt an Improv class. I think I have only seen only 1 show in my entire life.
I was felt that since English is not my first language I would fall flat on my face and couldn't do it. Now, as I age and am very comfortable with English, I believe I could see myself on stage doing a Harold...not yet, but in the next year or so. My next class is Monday night and I can't wait.
Today I have a Wendy's commercial audition at 2:30 in Santa Monica!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The confusion between Knowlton and Lacasse

Let me explain the confusion between my two last names....
I was born Claude Lacasse; Claude came from my godfather and Lacasse from my dad's (obviously).
I then came to Hollywood and hated that people just butchered my name; I thought why don't I change my name and find a simple last name that is easy to pronounce and keep my first name even though everyone here calls me "Clod" like I'm some kind of piece of "dirt clod..."
Anyway, I was fine with that ,but needed to change the "LACASSE" part.
I was sitting at the Knowlton Pub in the city of Knowlton,Quebec,Canada on the eve of my brother's wedding when all of sudden seeing the name "Knowlton" all around me just hit me and came up (with the help of my brother and his best man ) that "Claude Knowlton" should be from now on my new "stage name...."

That was over fifteen years ago....Little I knew that "Knowlton" was actually a very British name and people would actually spell like "NOLTON"...oh boy!!!!
So all of a sudden, I went from being French Canadian to British!!!!

When I moved to Vancouver in 1999, I realized that having an English sounding last name was the best thing I ever did.
The agents and Casting Directors of Vancouver are not so much in favor of French-Canadians since most of us have accents and all shows shot in BC are Americans; they prefer not to hire French Canadians.... No one ever thought for once that English wasn't my first language,why would it be???? With a last name like "Knowlton"....
Now that I am back in LA and have a strong resume, I would really like to get back to my real last name, but it's a little late since all my credits are under Knowlton and all my Unions are registered under "Claude Knowlton" is for my Stage name and
Claude Lacasse is for my personal life...Get it?