The Quest for the Perfect App

Ever since I got my iPhone, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect app.  Of course, there are some fine apps: for twitter, facebook, linked in, for every social network you can think of.  There are apps that take neat pictures, and apps that give you a lightsaber.  There are Shakespeare apps and games and schedules and what-have-you.

But I’m not looking for any of those.  I’m looking for the perfect app for actors.  I’ve found some apps that you can load your script onto and use for rehearsal.  Apps like Rehearsal and HollywoodHelper.  And these are potentially helpful apps, but they don’t do what I really need them to.  Both Rehearsal and HH serve a specific purpose: you load up your script, highlight your lines and use the app to help you learn them; but I’m not particularly fond of either.  HollywoodHelper is completely free, but you can only load a script in text format.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never received a script in text format, so you have to shift the format.  Every time, i’ve loaded up Hollywood Helper, its skewed the format, and not highlighted the lines correctly (It highlights the whole script).  Rehearsal actually works the way I want it to: it takes the most common formats and highlights properly. The only problem is that after your first week of use, you have to pay per script added to the app.  This sort of turns me off the whole thing.  I wouldn’t mind paying for the app once and being able to upload at will, but the pay per script thing makes me not want to use the app.  There don’t seem to be any other apps that do what these two do right now.  So either way, I’m settling.

But Rehearsal and HH aren’t the “perfect actor apps”, as far as I’m concerned. I”m looking for something that connects the various tools that I use all the time.  I want something that allows me to put appointments on a calendar, track contacts, keep notes, track monologues, and maybe even finances.  Ideally the app has a web interface as well as an iphone app, so that when I’m at my computer, I can enter stuff on the web, and have it sync to my phone.  I’ve come across a couple of options.  There’s The Actor’s App, which does…actually, I’m not clear on what it does.  Seems to list agencies and casting directors, but aside from that, I really don’t know what it does.  There is an app called iPerform, and it seems to be close to what I want.  But its over-priced, and although it does appear to have a web interface, it looks like you have to pay separately for that.

So there are apps that are passable, but they present their own problems (price or repeated payments), and there are apps that just don’t do enough.  Somewhere, there must be a perfect app.  Or at least, someone will build one.

Do you know of any apps that fit the bill?

One Comment

  1. Color me embarrassed — I actually didn’t know about ANY of those apps. But thanks to this, I’ll check ’em out.

    As for everything else: I just have my iPhone as the hub for everything, and have to use a bunch of apps on my Mac to track details:
    – in iCal I have a separate “acting” calendar where I track auditions, etc.
    – I use iBank for finances (essentially uicken for iMac, expect it has a great partner app for my phone), and have acting-specific categories to track acting income and expenses so I can generate reports on my deductibles at tax time
    – I use tags/categories in my contacts list to keep those organized (agents, casting directors, theatre companies, actors, etc)
    – I use “Dropbox” as a store for monologues, sides, etc. I use folders to organize them, and with Dropbox (which is free) I can sync them anytime to any computer or even my phone

    I think the reason that no solution works for you yet is that a one-size-fits-all is impossible because everybody’s career is different. Speaking personally, I have found that any attempt to track “actor things” that involves DUPLICATING data from other sources (Quicken or iCal or my calendar) is doomed to failure.

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