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CHICAGO AVE STUDIO

1915 W. Chicago Ave. #1
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 685-2774

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By Public Transit
We're on the famous Chicago Ave. bus line.
Route 66. Check out www.transitchicago.com
for routes and schedules!

By Car
Just a handful of blocks off I90 at Division.
The easiest way to get here, is to exit I90 at the Division exit and head west on Division. Go a few blocks until you reach Ashland (A major intersection) take a left on Ashland (heading south). Continue going south about 6 blocks until you reach Chicago Ave. Take a right on Chicago (heading west)
We are at 1915 W. Chicago!

If you are coming in from I290
You can get off on Damen going north- then continue all the way (past the United Center) until you get to Chicago Ave. Take a right. We are about 2/3 of a block down. It may be easier though to take I290 to I90 north (toward Milwaukee) then follow the directions above.....

The studio is located in a two story red brick building on the south side of the street. There's only a small sign on the door- so look for the address instead of a sign! Door is on the right. Here's a Google Maps STREET VIEW (we are the red building behind the tree).   Metered parking is typically pretty easy.   Pick our brains when you get here and we'll share with you cheaper ways to park in the area if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks. Meters are only in effect until 9pm.

 

RAVENSWOOD AVE STUDIO

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3701 N. Ravenswood Ave. #201
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 685-2774

By Public Transit
We're two blocks from the famous Brown line Addison or Irving Park stops.
Check out www.transitchicago.com
for routes and schedules!

By Car
Just 2.5 miles off I90 at Addison Exit.
The easiest way to get here, is to exit I90 at the Addison exit and head east on Addison. Go about 2 miles until you reach Ravenswood. It's a big huge 6 corner intersecion underneath the metra train tracks. Ravenswood is a split road- you wanna take the LEFT turn PAST the tracks (the east side of the tracks!) We are at 3701 N. Ravenswood.
The studio is located in a very long two story red timber loft on the east side of the street. We are at the south end door. buzz the buzzer for #201.

BEWARE of cubs parking restrictions on game nights!!! Check the cubs schedule for night game dates. Probably easiest on those nights is to park two block WEST or NORTH. If you are west of the metra tracks or north of Irving Park rd you don't have to worry about the parking zoning on those nights (but watch out for regular neighborhood zoning!) Come a bit early the first night to get the lay of the land for parking in this area. There is parking available- but you kinda gotta figure out the routine and be willing to walk a couple of blocks. On first glance the neighborhood may look a bit industrial if you haven't been here before- but it's a very popular neighborhood and pretty darn comfortable. Very walkable.  Pick our brains when you get here and we'll share with you cheaper ways to park in the area if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks. Meters are only in effect until 9pm.

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By: Courtney Rioux

Courtney’s first day as EMT #1.

As a recurring character on a network television show and an acting coach, I get a lot of emails from people asking what they can expect from their first day on set for an episodic.

I remember my first day on a network TV set, as “EMT #1” on Chicago Fire. I was excited, but mostly nervous. It was a hot Saturday in July. Most people I knew were at Lollapalooza and I was on 290 in an ambulance.

At lunch, I was eating alone and my background EMT partner sat at another table alone. I called him over. He told me he wasn’t allowed to talk to “1st team”, which is why he didn’t automatically sit by me. It wasn’t my first time on set ever, but it felt like it and I could have used some company. I hope I can shed some light for you here on a day in the life on set, so you can be less nervous than I was on day one.

The night before, you’ll get a call time from the Key 2nd AD (assistant director). Don’t ask your agent about your call time. They won’t know. This is because your call time depends on when the crew is wrapping for the evening before your shoot. They need 9-12 hours of turnaround time from one day to another (depending on actors and crew turnaround times.)

When you get on set, find the 2nd AD and get their name. They’ll sign you in and get you to your trailer/honeywagon. There you’ll read, sign and take a picture of your contract. Make sure your rate, your name and everything is correct. If not, reach out to your agent or SAG-AFTRA.

If your name is incorrect, that’s how it will show up in the credits of the show. If your rate is scale, check and see that there’s a + 10% for your agent. If not, your agent can’t take money out of your scale pay. Look out for them, too. If it’s above scale, they’ll take the 10% out of your pay, or have your agent negotiate 10% on top of your above scale pay.

Always take a picture of your contract and keep it for future reference! Don’t feel rushed. You’ll have time.

Get dressed in your trailer. They’ll call you to hair and makeup so you’ll be ready to head to set for rehearsals. First you might have a private rehearsal for the actors, director, DP (director of photography), script supervisor, and writer. There will definitely be a marking rehearsal for the crew. After that you’ll get wired (your mic) and sit around to wait until the crew sets up the shot.

You’ll be on 1st team, and they’ll use a 2nd team (stand-ins) to get lighting and shots set up.

On set, the director and the 1st AD will be running the show and giving you direction. The script supervisor will let you know if you’re getting your lines wrong. Make sure you’re matching up where you say your lines on each shot. This will help in the editing room.

There will be a lot of “hurry up and wait”. You’ll film your scene from multiple angles and shots with lots of set up in between for the crew. We get paid to sit around and wait!

SAG-AFTRA actor, Ilyssa Fradin, is often asked how long an actor will be on set for the day. She says to expect 8-12 hours. Just come prepared. Bring your chargers for your electronics, some work and reading materials. Fradin recommends bringing your own food in case you can’t get to Craft Services or have specific nutritional needs or food allergies.

My advice to you is to know your lines and your mark, and LISTEN!

Have a good attitude. Have fun and be yourself, but read the room. Know when to talk and when to stay quiet. Take direction and listen to everything being said to you and around you. When the director yells cut, go closer (but not too close!) to the conversations if you can.

Nicole McGovern, 2nd 2nd AD (no, that’s not a typo) on Chicago Med says, “Observe what’s happening. Be self-aware, but not in the way.” McGovern also says to be prepared for anything. Scenes get changed and moved to different days. “If you’re working multiple days, we may add another scene if we are ahead of schedule. A set may not be ready or an emergency may come up.”

When someone tells you their name, listen, say it out loud back to them, and write it down so you remember it next time you see them. Get a call sheet and study the names of the crew. They are making you look and sound good. They are awesome. Be friends with them. Thank them for their hard work!

Be aware of where the cameras are at all times, but of course don’t look into them.

Be prepared, but flexible.

Be willing to fail, and be willing to succeed.

Know that one mistake will not get you fired. Let it go, take a deep breath, and fix it in the next take. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I’d never be called in again, and four years later, I’m still there!

Don’t stop acting until someone yells cut, even if you think you’ve messed up and you want to start over. Keep going unless you’re told differently. They might be getting someone else’s coverage, and don’t need your lines to be right in that take. Keep going!

Never leave set without telling anyone. Find a PA (production assistant) or a 2nd AD and let them know where you’re going (ie: your trailer, the bathroom, to makeup etc). If you’re going to the bathroom, just ask, “Can I 10-1?” They’ll know what you mean.

If you’re like me, you’re probably worried you don’t know what you’re doing. No one really does his or her first day on set. Just pay attention to the veterans and learn on the job.

Sean Bradley, SAG-AFTRA actor and owner of The Green Room Studio says, “You don’t need to know everything. Feel free to ask questions.”

McGovern agrees, “You can ask the AD’s or PA’s questions. You might think it’s a stupid question, but it’s probably not.” (Fear not, there are a ton of PAs whose job it is to take care of you like you are a baby.)

Bradley adds, “Stay away from the dessert table. It’s a dangerous drug that will make you very sleepy for the rest of the day.”

Speaking of energy for the day, I always meditate beforehand. It helps me stay calm when action is yelled. I’m more focused and relaxed, and I find it helps me be best self in a stressful time. Need a guided meditation? Reach out to me and I’ll send one!

Finally, one of the stars on Med gave some great advice to a day player the other day. She was telling him there was food available for the cast and crew. She told him to go get a container and put it in his trailer before the food was gone. Then she yelled as he was leaving, “Act like you belong!” The first few times you are on set, you might not feel like you belong. You do. Act like it. Don’t be a jerk, but act confidently. You’re worthy of being there. Like the old saying goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it”!

And at the end of the day, find your 2nd AD who signed you in and sign out properly!

You got this!!

Check out our latest video in the series now!

We’ve just launched our new series of videos about The Acting Business in Chicago!
…where we will explore all sorts of business aspects of the acting world to help actors make more informed and strategic decisions – both in their business decisions AND in their audition performances.

We’ll release a new video each week. The first video is an introduction to the series- and the educational info starts next week – – so subscribe to our newsletter now!. Upcoming topics include:

– How the commercial business is structured
– How Casting Directors Prep the auditions for commercials
– How the actual commercial audition process works
– How the Prep for a TV & Film audition differs from commercial
– How the actual TV or Film audition process works
– Who’s the best talent agency in town
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…. and loads more!!!

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