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Cool Gadgets to Help Your Career
1. Roku ($59–$99, depending on the model)
If, like me, you're over and done with giving your money to the cable companies and you're more satisfied watching movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, then you may like this tiny box, which lets you stream all this content and more right to your beautiful flat-panel television. Roku's main competitor is Apple TV ($99), maybe a better fit for you if you're already in the Apple ecosystem (iTunes, iPad, iPhone, etc.).
2. Eye-Fi SD memory cards ($80 for an 8-gig card)
It looks just like a regular SD card, but when you put one into your existing digital camera, then snap photos or shoot video, it uploads your work right from the camera to the Internet or your iPad, iPhone, or Android device. It's incredibly timesaving.
3. iPad 2 (from $499)
For reading scripts and books, watching movies or TV shows on Netflix, shooting your own audition with its built-in camera (and then editing it and uploading it right from the device), and more, this is an obvious choice, I know. I lean toward Apple's iPad over the Android-running competitors-like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer or the Galaxy Tab 10.1-after spending a full weekend putting both of these Android models through their paces. You really have to live with them for a while to see that the Android software is frequently unstable. I'm not saying never buy an Android tablet; I'm just saying not yet.
4. Loksak ($6.49 for three)
They may look like glorified freezer bags, but they're not. These are hermetically sealable bags, endorsed by extreme-sport enthusiasts, made to protect your expensive device (such as an iPad, Kindle, or Nook) from water, sand, and dirt when you take it to the beach or mountains. Best of all, you can use your device even while it's safely ensconced in the Loksak.
5. Yurbuds ($49.99 for the Ironman series, $29.99 for behind-the-ear headphones)
When learning your lines while plugged into your digital device on the recumbent bike at the gym, you may be vexed, as I am, by earbuds that constantly fall from your ears, ruining your study time as well as your Zen state. Yurbuds were designed with athletes in mind. A Yurbuds iPhone app will analyze a photo of your ear to determine your perfect fit. But if your wallet is particularly full, you might wait until mid-August, when Sonomax begins selling its custom-made Sculpted Eers ($199 for the single-driver model, $299 for double drivers), fitted even more precisely to your very own eers, er, ears.
6. Zomm Wireless Leash ($79.99)
How many times have you realized, halfway to an audition, that you've left your mobile phone at home or, halfway home, that you've left it in the waiting room? This keychain fob is worth its price in all the time you'll save whenever it alerts you that you've left your pricey device behind.
7. Garmin Nüvi GPS (about $100–$200, depending on the model)
If your car isn't equipped with GPS, this is a must-have for getting to unfamiliar locations. Other GPS device makers are worthy of consideration too; I just happen to love the Garmin. I also prefer my GPS as a standalone gadget rather than an iPhone app.
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