Takes and Choices

Ever been on a set and a scene requires countless takes? That’s happened to me so many times over the years. If it’s happened to you, a follow-up question is…are you more worried about consistency in each take so each acting choice you make on-camera is the same, or are you willing to take risks and make a different choice in each take? My professional advice is to go with the latter! Most productions will have crew members assigned to worry about the continuity from one take of a scene to another. If you happen to spot for example a disconnect in continuity from one angle shot to another that a designated crew member perhaps did not catch, it’s alright to bring your courteous observation to the attention of the Director. However, it should be professionally mature and occasional. Don’t allow your energy to be misdirected.

By creatively inventing a different choice with each take, you are not only widening your range as an Actor, but you are adding more exciting flavors to the project thereby making the Editor’s job enthusiastically challenging. Overall, Editors/Directors/Producers do not want to slot forced scenes or even cut out scenes if they serve a significant purpose due to any projected, mild talent. Give them more than they can chew…that’s my unsolicited advice.

James

Role Sizes

This thought occurred to me while I was in the shower today. I’d rather have 10 seconds of on-screen awesomeness as an Actor than 30 minutes of anything less. The length of a role shouldn’t matter in a production, as your role serves as a necessary component to the completeness of telling the story. Is it great to have a lead role? Absolutely, as we strive as Actors to raise the bar in our artistic craft. That willingness to get there however shall never undermine any other roles you’ve had the privilege of acting in.

Can you have it all?

Is it possible one can have it all? Yes, if you set your mind to it. However, does that necessarily mean each component will be focused and executed at the highest quality possible? The answer is, “Probably not.”

No specific profession, trade or skill is being called out or emphasized, as this can universally apply in many different areas. Even if you give it over 100% in one given area while multitasking your involvement in many others, that still would not be good enough, as your time, consistent focus and attention to detail in that one area is compromised without question. You’re also distracted with other so-called priorities.

If I had to choose, quality outweighs quantity. In other words, you can have lots of completed tasks or credits completed in your resume. However, each will not be as strong in depth or as realized, if they’re not completed at it’s absolute best. That takes superb focus, full commitment and consistent faith.

Thank you for reading.

James

2019 Updates

What’s going on Fans?

You didn’t think James forgot about you, did you? Well, he did not! He’s excited to share with you what’s been happening, as this is the first update of the year!!! See below for a breakdown:

Website Updates

A couple of brand new plugins were installed. First, an Instagram (IG) Slide Out was installed to conveniently keep track of James’s IG page @jburlesonactor (located at the right-hand corner of each page of the site). The Contact Form page was also updated to a new layout (in the CONTACT tab). Other updates include a new video slideshow for increased, accessible ease in viewing my work (in the FOOTAGE tab) as well as a general background color modification.

Bookings

Most recently, James booked the role of Gregor in a film film titled UNMASKED. This is projected to be shot next year in Georgia. I do have to thank Murphy Howard for his patience and diligence. Click here to access the film’s IMDb page.

Since late 2018, James has been heavily involved in the pre-production to the Feature Film titled A Time for Heroes. Collaborating with the filmmaker Roger K. Moore has been a sensation!! Based upon what he has examined so far, this film hits close to home for him. James is a dedicated military veteran, as he served 8 years in the United States Air Force (USAF). He can empathize to a lot of the idiosyncrasies and actions contained in the script, and he looks forward to giving the character of Airman Raider a life. As the journey of this film to be made continues, updates will consistently be posted. Click here to access the film’s IMDb page.

Film Wraps

Earlier this year, James wrapped my role of Francis Ottawa in the Feature Film Sequel to Lady Luck titled LADY LUCK… TOO He was on set for 6 days. James had to dig deep for this role, as it’s quite a contrast between who he is as a person and the actual character. That makes it that much more exciting!!! Release updates will be made accordingly. Click here to access the film’s IMDb page.

Releases

  • The Price of Fame - James appeared in two episodes of the TV Series. He played to the role of Sean Penn in the Robert Downey Jr. episode as well as the role of Jim Toth in the Reese Witherspoon episode. Both shows have already premiered on The REELZ Network, but they are available for on-demand streaming.

  • Suburban Coven - This Feature Film (formerly called The Red Room) finally received distribution from WildEye Releasing on major streaming platforms (e.g., Amazon Prime Video) as well as for international purchase on DVD both in stores and online. Click here to stream and here to purchase the DVD. Also, click here to access the film’s IMDb page.

  • Let’s Chat - This short film received distribution on major streaming platforms (e.g., Amazon Prime Video) as well as for international purchase on DVD both in stores and online. Click here to stream and here to purchase the DVD. Also, click here to access the film’s IMDb page.





Post-Audition Impressions

How many of us Actors have walked out of an audition or submitted a tape only to reach a moment afterwards where you didn't feel as confident? I am one of those Actors for sure. 

I most recently had that experience following an audition tape submission for the film scheduled to be in production Aug/Sept 2018 titled The Weakness Within Our Hearts.  I submitted the final tape, and I did not feel as confident even after watching it a few times. However, there was an itch inside of me telling me to take a risk based upon the role's expectations...

...I am so glad I did...

A few days later, I received notification that I was cast.  From what I was told, it was a cast/crew group decision. I was indescribably electrified!!!!

Ultimately, I chose to write about this because I've learned that an Actor's best audition might be when you do not feel confident and vice-versa. In other words, sometimes an Actor's "feel-good" thoughts are in reality not the best in favor according to the Casting Director/Assistant and/or Producer/Director/Writer, whereas any thoughts of insecurity following an audition might be your winning ticket.

Remember, you can't see your own face/body/gestures live during an audition (and in life really unless you have a mirror or you are looking at yourself in reflection while filming). As a result, your intuition necessarily may not be correct.

Receiving this role was indeed a surprise, and I am so thankful.

I could go on in more technical detail, but this blog post would be increasingly extensive, so I kept it as short as I could thereby releasing the main points I intended to include.

Stay tuned for my next blog post that will thoroughly examine selections of this post in detail.

Thanks so much again.

James Burleson

The Red Room - Soon to Receive Distribution!

I will start by saying that it has been a LONG journey with The Red Room!! As with any film, from the script to pre-production to filming to post-production/editing and to the distribution, one must be patient!! I am pleased to announce the film has finally found a distributor.  The details are still being worked out, and I will continue to keep my fans updated. Exciting times!!!

In case you missed it, here is the Official Trailer to The Red Room: 

 

 

It just keeps getting better and better!

Well, it's been over six months since my last posting in my blog.  Lately, I've been desperate in developing a work-life balance between filming and the new job I just accepted as an Editor on August 7, 2017. I'm extremely grateful. In respect to filming, I tell you, every year just keeps getting better and better (even if it's just a one new project that I've been cast in).  A lot of it could not be accomplished without the encouragement of my friends.  The list would be too long to name, so I'll keep it simple.  You all know who you are, and eventually if I see you in person, I will give you my most individual amount of gratitude and appreciation that I have.  

The Johnny Starr Story (2017) is widening it's stride in its acceptance and success in the film festivals this year.  Click in the announcement bar located at the top of this page for more information.

I recently was cast in an ABC TV Series called The 4% (produced by Viola Davis).  I depict a real life police officer that first responds on a scene into the murders of a family allegedly by a mother that is currently serving on death row.  More information to come on this later!!!

I continue to keep auditioning and learning more and more as I get older as an Actor. Also, as I always say, I love to give back to the community by helping anyone that is serious about breaking into the film industry. Trust me...I know...it's a tough and scary ride at first that just gets better and better!!!! 

 

Acting Updates!

To all of my many fans,

Well, it's been a great start to 2017!  I realize that with ultimate perseverance and self-motivation that my opportunities to make character impressions are exponentially increasing. I've been acting in many forms of media to include Feature Films, Television, Web Series and Short Films. Be on the lookout for consistent updates on my website to include synopses, production information, and release times!  

Stay in touch!!

James Burleson

Fight or Flight (2016)

Good Afternoon Fans,

I wanted to take an opportunity to share this short film I had the privilege of acting in called Fight or Flight. This film was filmed entirely in Orlando, Florida. The sole purpose of this film is to raise awareness against domestic violence of women. More importantly, violence in general should never be tolerated nor accepted regardless of the environment or situation a man or a woman is in. Low self-esteem and insecurity are two out of many idiosyncrasies that often suppresses one's courage to get out of nasty, violent situations as seen in this film. It's rare to find an unconditionally committed and motivated cast and crew, as I worked with in this film. All of the characters involved unquestionably stepped outside of the box to deliver performances that were raw, intimidating and authentic. Outstanding job!!!

NOTE: This film was extremely challenging and tough to watch but a necessary one in order to spread awareness and exposure in preventing this mental disorder. Viewer discretion is advised, as this film contains strong, adult content. The film is available for you to click below. 

 

James Burleson

Body Harvest Teaser Release!

I am pleased to announce the teaser premiere to Body Harvest.  I spent approximately 19 hours in the Summer of 2015 on the set of this film in very challenging circumstances.  I am a real trooper though, and nothing will ever stop me from delivering the best performance I can provide. The film will speak for itself once it is released.  An HD Trailer also will soon be released.  

Here is a taste into the cinematic entertainment of Body Harvest!


Acting Updates

Ever since I concluded production on the feature films titled The Red Room and Body Harvest as well as graduating with my Masters Degree, I sorta took a little summer break just to celebrate some good achievement and to relax!  Now, I am back auditioning, and I am enjoying the craft of acting!

Recently, I was fortunate to be cast in a feature film titled Abortifacient.  Filming will most likely begin in the new year.  You can keep up to speed on the updates of the film by clicking on the following link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1719870845/abortifacient

Stay tuned for more periodic updates in regards to acting as well to include significant tips and opportunities!

 

James Burleson

Investigation Discovery Channel's TV Series MOST EVIL - Season Finale

On February 26, 2015, the Season Finale of Most Evil premiered on the Investigation Discovery (ID) Channel aired.  The episode title is Predators.  This is the episode I was fortunate enough to be cast to act in!!  I flew to Brooklyn to shoot my role as a real life serial killer named Levi King.  He goes on a murderous rampage of innocent families he shot randomly in Texas with little to no feeling whatsoever.  He is in this episode being interviewed while in jail by the host in the midst of my scenes being depicted reenacting the horror of the deaths he originally caused.

I want to personally thank all of my fans and friends that watched the episode.  If you haven't watched it yet, the episode will eventually be made available to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.  I also know the ID Channel reruns episodes of Most Evil constantly.  Either way, feel free to watch the show and leave your comments and feedback below!

If this episode helped save a life in regards to learning what not to do, than I guess it has served it's purpose.  The episode speaks for itself.

I think the entire experience of filming was a flinty success, and it just makes me want to ACT EVEN MORE!

ONCE AGAIN...AN INFINITY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS WATCHED, IS WATCHING OR WILL WATCH THE SHOW!

THE RED ROOM

Recently, James Burleson received news of being cast in the lead role in the upcoming film titled The Red Room. It will be his first major lead role in a Feature Film.  Principal photography will begin in March 2015.  The original screenplay is written by Chris Keaton, and Vu Nguyen in association with Blue Light Pictures will be directing this film. Here is a brief synopsis of the central storyline with The Red Room:

A loving newlywed couple seeking help for their sexual dysfunction are pulled into a dangerous game with their neighbors that may cost their lives.

Stay tuned for more details...

The Red Room


Cinequest Film Festival Selection - "Everyday"

I am pleased to announce the short film I had the privilege of playing the lead in titled "Everyday" was picked up and selected by the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA. I am super excited about this. This film is one of my best acting jobs. I'm very thankful. Thanks to the awesome cast and crew of this film to include Cal Etcheverry, Jack Neuhoff, Ken Gallego, Claire Groves and Kenny Hada.

Cut out the worrying in any audition!

Look, let's face it...we all get nervous at different times during auditions because we really want the job. At time, it's as if we are directly focused on trying to impress just the Casting Directors, and we naturally continue to worry about what the Casting Director is thinking because we don't want to embarrass ourselves or make mistakes. 

Over the years, I have learned as an Actor there is so much that happens behind the scenes with the production to include the casting process. Those discussions and decisions are totally beyond the control of any Actor that auditions!! If you think about it, that's a pressure relief, because what is left?  See the 6 tips on ways you can be well-prepared to execute a strong audition:

  • You can just focus on doing a masterful job with the text you prepared!
  • Don't bring to the character what you think the Casting Directors want to see or hear. Bring your natural self to the character using your individual, emotional intelligence. Otherwise, the audition has high chances looking fake!
  • Improvise different emotions the audition sides/scenes call for such as cool, calm, anger laughter or an emotional mixture, and bring that same emotion back to the text of your sides/scenes. Repeatedly using this process will keep you on track to sounding real.
  • Workshops are expensive, right?  No matter if you get the part or if you didn't, use each audition experience as a way to educationally learn the business, as legitimate auditions are free, and it's better to always learn hands-on.  You nailing two birds with one stone. Repetitiously, you will learn what works and what doesn't work through the concept trial and error.
  • Transform your fears into energy and motivation to do better next time if you happen to not get the part! What doesn't get you down makes you stronger!! Rejection is like calories. They're both fuel for energy in order to achieve your goals.
  • And finally, breathe...relax...and have fun, because the camera will catch your true, genuine self minus any fake impressions.  

Acting is reacting and editing is reediting!

Just because you don't have any lines does not mean you get a break while the other actor's lines are performing.  Your reactions count more than the words that are coming out of your mouth.  Remember...93% of language is about nonverbal communication (body language) as well as your facial expressions, and the other 7% are the words.  

Same thing with editing...just because you have cut, clipped, teared, or marked any clips does not mean your job is complete.  A good editor does not give up after the first full attempt of editing an entire Feature Film, TV Program or even a Short Film.  There are so many elements involved with editing a film to include adjoining scenes and/or sequences, adding titles and music/scoring, rearranging clips and scenes, ADR (or looping), etc.  Just like with essays, there usually is a first draft, second draft, third draft, and so on.  Eventually with many drafts, the final draft will eventually come with hard effort and sheer dedication.