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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trusting your gut and doing your research.

by admin

We recently received this message from an aspiring actor:

Okay, so I auditioned for [Talent Agency], and they’re a legit agency and part of the Better Business Bureau.  They called me back and said they sent my headshot to three of the “best” casting directors in [City].  They said they like my look a lot; however, I need more experience and have to take this class and get a headshot and together it all costs $1,800.  Sounds fishy to me.  What do you think?  I do need more training, but I’ve never been told I have to take specific classes and get headshots from a specific photographer to be accepted by a casting director.

There’s a lot to be said about gut instincts.  It sounds fishy to you, and it sounds fishy to us, too, at least from the details we see here.

Do some research beyond the Better Business Bureau.

While the BBB is a great resource, it shouldn’t be the only indication of a business’s practices or an agency’s legitimacy.  Is the agency franchised by a union?  Screen Actors Guild (SAG) maintains a list of franchised talent agencies.  That’s a good place to start.  Do you know other actors in your area represented by the agency?  Ask them about their experiences.

A bona fide agency only earns money when you do.

They don’t try to sell you classes or photographs, or charge you exorbitant registration fees. You will need training and headshots, but real talent agencies don’t sell those. They may give you a list of recommended acting coaches and photographers, but they shouldn’t try to coerce you to hire a specific one (that may mean they’re getting kickbacks; not good).

Also, we’ve never heard of an agency running photos of actors under the noses of casting directors before making up their minds whether or not to represent them. What a waste of the CDs’ and agents’ time!

If you lack experience, a respected agency has no reason to want to represent you. They want professionals who will earn them commissions by booking work.

They might recommend that you go off and get more training or experience, but they shouldn’t require you to take their classes or use their photographer. That indicates they’re making money out of your pocket, instead of out of the pockets of the producers who hire you for their productions.

Make sense?

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don’t Miss Jane Jenkins & Deborah Aquila Workshop in Portland – Signups Extended to January 2nd!

by admin

Signups for this workshop have been extended two weeks to January 2, 2010.  Don’t miss out!

Jane Jenkins and Deborah Aquila
Presented by Next Dimension Productions
Date: January 8-9, 2011 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Location: Act Now Portland
Address: 232 SE Oak St, Suite 100, Portland, OR
Price: $350
Registration: Call 818-425-9764 to RSVP.  Space is limited.  Signups close January 2, 2010.

Let them know you were referred by Lana Veenker Casting!

Topics covered include:

  • How to fully analyze a script and break down scenes when prepping for auditions
  • How to handle your nerves at an audition
  • How to stand out when auditioning on camera
  • How to sharpen audition performances to get the callback
  • What a casting director looks for and insider tips

Jane Jenkins
Since 1981, Jane Jenkins and her company have cast over 100 feature films, including the Academy Award winning “A Beautiful Mind”, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Airforce Once”, “Jurassic Park”, “The American President”, “Apollo 13”, “The Lost World”, “A Few Good Men”, “Backdraft”, “Misery”, “Ghost”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Beetlejuice”, “Stand By Me”, and “Home Alone”.  Jane is a charter member of the Casting Society of America, as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Television Academy.

Deborah Aquila
Deborah Aquila has enjoyed a long-standing career as a casting director that has spanned both the East Coast and West Coast, television and film, as well as independent features and studio pictures.  Her independent casting career began with Steven Soderbergh’s SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE.  Before moving the Los Angeles in 1993 to cast Frank Darabont’s THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Deborah had completed over 40 independent films in New York.  In 1993 she was named Senior Vice-President of Features Casting for Paramount Pictures.  The more notable films Deborah cast at Paramount were: PRIMAL FEAR, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II, THE BRADY BUNCH, KISS THE GIRLS and WHAT WOMEN WANT.  Deborah has been recognized six times by the Casting Society of America for her work.  She was recognized by the Hollywood community with the HOLLYWOOD FILM FESTIVAL CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Jane Jenkins & Deborah Aquila Workshop in Portland – Signups Close Monday 12/20!

by admin

Jane Jenkins and Deborah Aquila
Presented by Next Dimension Productions
Date: January 8-9, 2011 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Location: Act Now Portland
Address: 232 SE Oak St, Suite 100, Portland, OR
Price: $350
Registration: Call 818-425-9764 to RSVP.  Space is limited.  Signups close December 20th, 2010.

Let them know you were referred by Lana Veenker Casting!

Topics covered include:

  • How to fully analyze a script and break down scenes when prepping for auditions
  • How to handle your nerves at an audition
  • How to stand out when auditioning on camera
  • How to sharpen audition performances to get the callback
  • What a casting director looks for and insider tips

Jane Jenkins
Since 1981, Jane Jenkins and her company have cast over 100 feature films, including the Academy Award winning “A Beautiful Mind”, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Airforce Once”, “Jurassic Park”, “The American President”, “Apollo 13”, “The Lost World”, “A Few Good Men”, “Backdraft”, “Misery”, “Ghost”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Beetlejuice”, “Stand By Me”, and “Home Alone”.  Jane is a charter member of the Casting Society of America, as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Television Academy.

Deborah Aquila
Deborah Aquila has enjoyed a long-standing career as a casting director that has spanned both the East Coast and West Coast, television and film, as well as independent features and studio pictures.  Her independent casting career began with Steven Soderbergh’s SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE.  Before moving the Los Angeles in 1993 to cast Frank Darabont’s THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Deborah had completed over 40 independent films in New York.  In 1993 she was named Senior Vice-President of Features Casting for Paramount Pictures.  The more notable films Deborah cast at Paramount were: PRIMAL FEAR, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II, THE BRADY BUNCH, KISS THE GIRLS and WHAT WOMEN WANT.  Deborah has been recognized six times by the Casting Society of America for her work.  She was recognized by the Hollywood community with the HOLLYWOOD FILM FESTIVAL CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Twilight" Returns to Oregon Coast? Not According to Film Office.

by admin

An article claiming that the “Breaking Dawn” set had been discovered on the central Oregon coast by three University of Oregon students appeared on HULIQ.com over the weekend.

BRAYS POINT, Oregon – When three University of Oregon students decided the weather was too nice on a sunny Friday to sit in class, they cut school. “We hit the coast and we’re sure glad we did because we’re huge Twilight fans. Imagine riding by the beach and spotting Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson? Well, it happened to us, we found Breaking Dawn,” says Greg Barker who’s a senior at the U of O in Eugene.

Vince Porter, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Film &Television, refuted the claims both in the article’s comment section and in an email to us.  The article states that a contact at the Governor’s Office of Film & Television confirmed that pre-production was underway and goes on to quote a source.  Porter tells us that the Governor’s Office was never contacted and confirmed no such thing.  Moreover, the Governor’s Office checked in with the University of Oregon and found that there are no students registered at the school with the names listed in the article.

For more information on what we know regarding “Breaking Dawn”, check out these previous blog posts:

“Breaking Dawn” Casting Director Update
Summit Clears Up A Few “Breaking Dawn” Rumors
Summit Entertainment’s THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN To Be Filmed In Louisiana and Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Please Answer Me?

by admin

Hi Lana,

I sent you an email with my headshot and resume a month ago.  I haven’t received an answer, and I don’t know why.  Did you receive my email?  I can send you my information again.  I just need you to tell me if I have a shot.  I know I’ve got the potential!  Please answer me?

Sincerely,
Annabelle Actress

As you might be able to imagine, these kinds of messages are common.  They come to Lana and her staff via email, over Twitter, through phone calls to our office (even though we ask actors to refrain from calling on the contact page of our website), and even to our personal Facebook pages or IM accounts.

ALL OF OUR OFFERED RESOURCES, RIGHT AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Messages like this one are the reason that The Casting Scoop, the Tools 4 Actors newsletter and Lana’s Tools 4 Actors workshops exist.  We simply can’t answer every individual inquiry that comes our way, and we try to be up front about that.  But what we can do is supply aspiring actors with the resources and tools they can use to find the path that’s right for them:

1. Tools 4 Actors Mailing List: Join by sending a blank email to tools4actors [at] aweber [.] com.  (Remove the spaces and brackets.)  We have over 100 weeks’ worth of newsletters that are ready to come your way, and we’re adding to them every month.

2. The Casting Scoop: Check this blog regularly or subscribe to the RSS feed (see right sidebar).

3. Demand It!: Want a Tools 4 Actors workshop taught by Lana Veenker in your area?  Register your interest on Eventful.  It’s as easy as clicking the yellow “Demand It!” button on the Eventful widget in the right sidebar of this blog.

In order to reap the rewards, you’ll first need to sow the seeds of your own hard work.  Casting directors are really impressed when actors show some gumption and do the research themselves.   (Another important thing — there’s not just one easy answer to the question “how do I make it?”)

So, please, hop online, ask other actors in your community, use the tools we provide, and visit your library or bookstore.  There are lots of great books on the subject of acting and auditioning.  Show the CDs what you’ve got!  Initiative goes a long way.  Break a leg!

 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Twilight" Convention Lands in Sacramento This Weekend

by admin


You can catch Lana and several of the Twilight saga actors at Creation Entertainment’s Official Twilight Convention, this weekend in Sacramento, California.

Lana will be appearing on September 25th. If you’re there, be sure to say hello!

Special Guests

Alex Meraz

Chaske Spencer

Daniel Cudmore

Justine Wachsberger

Tyson Houseman
Check out the official site for times and days of appearances as well as a full schedule of events.  Not all special guests will appear on all days.
Monday, September 13, 2010

Reminder: Save $45 on Howard Meltzer Workshop in Seattle This Weekend

by admin


Just a quick reminder!

Howard Meltzer, the award-winning Hollywood-based casting director for The Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana”, is coming to Seattle this weekend. His workshop will now be offered only twice over the course of the weekend, September 18-19, 2010. The workshop is 3 hours and includes one-on-one direction with each child and a short Q&A for kids and parents. Classes are limited to 24 students per class, and are open to ages 9 to 19 at any acting level.


Dates/Times to Choose From: September 18 @ 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM –OR– September 19 @ 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: W Hotel, Seattle
Price: $295*
Registration Info: thecastingworkshops.com

*Save $45 with promo code “Lana”! Before registering, enter the promo code “Lana” to reduce your registration fee to $250. (Promo code is not case sensitive.)

Disclaimer: You agree that you understand that this is a Seminar and NOT an audition. There is NO guarantee of employment. There will be NO REFUNDS after payment made. Please read full disclaimer on registration page before registering.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Don’t Miss Lana’s Workshop in Vienna This Month!

by admin


If you’re in Europe and you missed Casting Director Lana Veenker’s “Cracking the US Market” workshop in London last month, you can catch her in Vienna on September 13, 2010.

What people are saying about “Cracking the US Market” and Lana Veenker:

“It was very informative and invigorating. Lana is a truly inspirational speaker. Her advice is practical,uplifting and clarifies the whole casting process. I look forward to her coming back to London!”
— Ava

“I found it so interesting to learn how the business works in America and I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop… It was brilliant!”
— Tami

 

 

“I attended Lana’s workshop, which I thought was a fantastic and detailed eye-opener to the challenges to working in the US as an actor.”
— Neal

“I’d be delighted to recommend Lana’s workshop as I thought it was absolutely invaluable. I’m very interested in working in the USA and it was a real god-send to have such useful advice. Lana was extremely friendly and helpful.”
— Philip

 

 

“I found Lana’s workshop both illuminating and inspiring. She really emphasised the value of my individuality in the industry; and how to market it from a very active point of view. A very open and frank lady – something that can be very hard to come by. I have already taken steps to gain more control over my career and will let you know as things develop!”
— Samantha

“Thanks for the workshop, Lana. It was very helpful and it was lovely to meet you.”
— Josh

 

“My young actor friend in London loved your workshop and was so impressed by you and the knowledge you gave him! Thanks.”
— @jewelspice

I’m An Actor, But I Don’t Live in Hollywood: How to Crack the US Market

Presented in English by Tools 4 Actors

Hollywood attracts countless actors to Los Angeles every year, but most leave after they spend all their money and discover they can’t even get an audition.

There’s nothing that can make Hollywood an easy nut to crack, but there are a few things actors can do to make it easier.

In How to Crack the US Market, Casting Director Lana Veenker will reveal how show business is conducted in the States and provide tips on how to work as an actor in Los Angeles, New York or other American cities.

This workshop will be conducted in English, in lecture format, followed by a Q&A, so please bring a notebook or laptop computer. Students are also invited to join Lana afterwards for a meet-and-greet at a nearby bar or pub.

BIO
American casting director Lana Veenker trained as an actor/director and spent nearly ten years living, studying and working in France, England, Venezuela, India and the West Indies. After working as a casting assistant at Zimmermann Casting in London, she decided to return to the States, and in 1999, she launched one of the most successful location casting companies in the US.

Her passion is helping actors who live outside Hollywood to succeed. She has taught workshops across the United States and Europe, most recently at Sunscreen Film Festival in Florida, Prague Film School and English Theatre Berlin during this year’s Berlinale.

Projects include Twilight, Paranoid Park by Gus Van Sant, Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, and 31 episodes of TNT’s Leverage, which airs on Bravo in the UK. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. Her workshops adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG and AFTRA.

I’m An Actor, But I Don’t Live in Hollywood: How to Crack the US Market
Presented in English by Tools 4 Actors
Date: Monday, September 13, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: IfiF
Address: Haslingergasse 41/22, A- 1160, Vienna
Price: 95
Registration Info: http://CrackingUSMarketVienna.Eventbrite.com

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop requires a minimum of 15 attendees in order to take place. Students are asked to register by September 6, 2010 to hold their spot. If workshop is cancelled, Tools4Actors will notify attendees and provide a 100% refund.

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Disney’s Howard Meltzer Workshop in Seattle, Sept. 18, 19 — SAVE $45!

by admin


Howard Meltzer, the award-winning Hollywood-based casting director for The Disney Channel’s “Hannah Montana”, is coming to Seattle this month. His workshop will be offered three times over the course of a weekend, September 18-19, 2010. The workshop is 3 hours and includes one-on-one direction with each child and a short Q&A for kids and parents. Classes are limited to 24 students per class, and are open to ages 9 to 19 at any acting level.


Dates/Times to Choose From: September 18 @ 2:00 PM, September 19 @ 10:00 AM, September 19 @ 2:00 PM
Location: W Hotel, Seattle
Price: $295*
Registration Info: thecastingworkshops.com

*Save $45 with promo code “Lana”! Before registering, enter the promo code “Lana” to reduce your registration fee to $250. (Promo code is not case sensitive.)

Disclaimer: You agree that you understand that this is a Seminar and NOT an audition. There is NO guarantee of employment. There will be NO REFUNDS after payment made. Please read full disclaimer on registration page before registering.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Breaking Dawn" Casting Director Update

by admin

Courtesy of the Official Twilight Series Fan Page on Facebook:

Official local casting directors have been hired for THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN. Stuart Aikins reprises casting duties for Vancouver-based casting. Fincannon and Associates Casting is handling talent searches for Louisiana-based casting. Both work under LA-based casting director Debra Zane. There are no other casting organizations involved with the production at this time.

Contact information for official casting directors:

Debra Zane Casting

5225 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036

E-mail: BreakingDawnCast@gmail.com

Aikins / Cossey Casting

#403 1755 West Broadway

Vancouver, BC V6J 4S5

E-mail: BreakingDawnCasting@canadafilm.com

Fincannon and Associates

1235 N. 23rd St

Wilmington, NC 28405

E-mail: breakingdawn@fincannoncasting.com

Read the Facebook posting here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Casting Director Lana Veenker Announces Workshop in Vienna Next Month

by admin


I’m An Actor, But I Don’t Live in Hollywood: How to Crack the US Market

Presented in English by Tools 4 Actors

Hollywood attracts countless actors to Los Angeles every year, but most leave after they spend all their money and discover they can’t even get an audition.

There’s nothing that can make Hollywood an easy nut to crack, but there are a few things actors can do to make it easier.

In How to Crack the US Market, Casting Director Lana Veenker will reveal how show business is conducted in the States and provide tips on how to work as an actor in Los Angeles, New York or other American cities.

This workshop will be conducted in English, in lecture format, followed by a Q&A, so please bring a notebook or laptop computer. Students are also invited to join Lana afterwards for a meet-and-greet at a nearby bar or pub.

BIO
American casting director Lana Veenker trained as an actor/director and spent nearly ten years living, studying and working in France, England, Venezuela, India and the West Indies. After working as a casting assistant at Zimmermann Casting in London, she decided to return to the States, and in 1999, she launched one of the most successful location casting companies in the US.

Her passion is helping actors who live outside Hollywood to succeed. She has taught workshops across the United States and Europe, most recently at Sunscreen Film Festival in Florida, Prague Film School and English Theatre Berlin during this year’s Berlinale.

Projects include Twilight, Paranoid Park by Gus Van Sant, Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, and 31 episodes of TNT’s Leverage, which airs on Bravo in the UK. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. Her workshops adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG and AFTRA.

I’m An Actor, But I Don’t Live in Hollywood: How to Crack the US Market
Presented in English by Tools 4 Actors
Date: Monday, September 13, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: IfiF
Address: Haslingergasse 41/22, A- 1160, Vienna
Price: 95
Registration Info: http://CrackingUSMarketVienna.Eventbrite.com

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop requires a minimum of 15 attendees in order to take place. Students are asked to register by September 6, 2010 to hold their spot. If workshop is cancelled, Tools4Actors will notify attendees and provide a 100% refund.

Looking to register for Lana’s August 23 workshop in London? See this post.

 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summit Clears Up A Few "Breaking Dawn" Rumors

by admin


Seems that the admins of sites across the “Twilight” universe have received some rumor control messages from Summit.

The biggest rumor being cleared up is, of course, regarding casting for the final film installments:

There is only one casting director working on THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN films right now – Debra Zane. As of right now no local auditions are being held. If Debra’s name is not attached to it in some form or another, it is not legitimate. She is also not putting out nationwide casting notices. Once again – as was the case with NEW MOON and ECLIPSE – any ads you see are completely false. She has set up an e-mail address specifically for casting inquiries (BreakingDawnCast@gmail.com).

Head here to read the full list of cleared-up rumors, courtesy of TwilightSource.com, as linked from the Official Twilight Series Fan Page on Facebook.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Portland Development Commission Hiring Mayor’s Office Film & Video Liaison

by admin

Do you want to have a meaningful impact in sustaining and growing the Portland film industry? Do you have the experience and skills it takes? Here’s your chance to answer that question and more by applying for the liaison position in the Mayor’s Office of Film and Video at the Portland Development Commission.

Check out the full listing here for more information and instructions on applying.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don’t miss Lana’s London workshop on August 23, 2010! Register now!

by admin


Cracking the US Market: How to Break in if You Don’t Live in Hollywood

The siren call of Hollywood lures countless actors to Los Angeles every year, most of whom pack up and leave after running out of money and discovering they can’t even get a toe in the door, much less a whole foot.

There’s nothing that can make Hollywood an easy nut to crack, but there are a few things actors can do to soften its shell.

In Cracking the US Market, Casting Director Lana Veenker will reveal how the business of show is conducted Stateside, provide tips to prepare you to go California or Bust, and tools to help you land on your feet in the City of Angels.

This workshop will be in lecture format, followed by a Q&A, so please bring a notebook or laptop. Students are also invited to join Lana afterwards for an optional meet-and-greet at a nearby establishment.

BIO
US native Lana Veenker trained as an actor/director and spent nearly ten years living, studying and working in France, England, Venezuela, India and the West Indies. She switched career paths after landing a job at Zimmermann Casting in London, and in 1999, returned to her roots to launch what is now one of the most successful location casting companies in the US.

She has found her calling in helping actors who live outside Hollywood break into the business, and has taught workshops across the United States and Europe, most recently at Sunscreen Film Festival, Prague Film School and English Theatre Berlin during this year’s Berlinale.

Projects include Twilight, Paranoid Park by Gus Van Sant, Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, and 31 episodes of TNT’s Leverage, which airs on Bravo in the UK. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. Her workshops adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG and AFTRA.

Cracking the US Market: How to Break in if You Don’t Live in Hollywood
Presented by Tools 4 Actors
Date: Monday, August 23, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: St Michael’s Church
Address: Chester Square
Tube Station: Victoria Station
Price: £79
Registration Info: http://CrackingUSMarketLondon.eventbrite.com

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop requires a minimum of 15 attendees in order to take place. If workshop is cancelled, Tools 4 Actors will notify attendees and provide a 100% refund.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lana Veenker on OPB’s Think Out Loud Friday, August 13th

by admin

Lana will be on Oregon Public Broadcasting‘s Think Out Loud tomorrow, Friday, August 13th, from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM to talk about the state of Oregon on screens both big and small.

Additional guests include Kearie Peak (co-executive producer of “Leverage”), Todd Freeman (independent filmmaker), Kevin Klowden (managing economist and director of the California Center), and Kristi Turnquist (pop culture reporter for The Oregonian).

You can submit your questions ahead of time in the comments section at OPB.

If you missed the show, here’s the link to download the MP3, or you can stream it on the OPB website. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

But wait! There’s more! The myth of the big break and the easy way in.

by admin

I’m a local in Calgary, AB. On the radio today I heard about a casting call for “Twilight” for the first 100 people to text in “talent” to [a number]. I received an automated text message saying I would be called. Is this a scam? (Strange that it would be on the radio, especially a popular [station].) I truthfully only texted in because I thought it’d be a good opportunity to get some experience if I wish to pursue a career in the film industry.

A casting call being announced on the radio or on local news broadcasts isn’t all that uncommon, and, in and of itself, wouldn’t make the announcement suspect. We’ve had a number of our cattle calls picked up by the local media, from our search for Jacob Black in Twilight to our hunt for two little boys to play Brendan Fraser’s sons in Extraordinary Measures.

Notice that we were looking for very specific types. What are they looking for with this ad, exactly? People who listen to the radio and can text with lightning speed? We don’t remember those characters from the books.

Most likely, it’s some modeling/acting school like Barbizon, John Robert Powers or John Casablanca’s trying to get you to sign up for classes or pay for photos. If it’s a real casting call, there will be no connection to any school, and you’ll know up front what company you’re working with. We’re not sure if the Calgary listener heard anything other than where to send a text message for an audition. Who are these people? Did you just subscribe to some bogus service that’s going to jack up your cell phone bill?

Also, the film isn’t even in production yet and it’s going to be filming primarily in Louisiana (with some scenes shooting in Vancouver, BC). Why would they hold a casting call in Calgary in July? Why would the casting director — whoever he or she may be — want to see auditions from random people who sent a text message, instead of qualified professional actors represented by talent agents?

In our humble opinions, this is just a ploy to sell classes, photos or attendance at expensive “talent showcases”.

That’s not to say contests aren’t run for actors (or whoever) to find their way onto big, legitimate productions. Take AMC’s “Mad Men” and their Banana Republic-sponsored casting call.

However, look at the difference. This casting call/contest is widely publicized, has a web presence, the major players (AMC and Banana Republic) are plainly named, and there’s a lengthy set of read-before-you-leap official rules. No one’s making any promises of instant stardom or asking you to buy anything.

That being said, even a legitimate contest shouldn’t be at the top of your list of ways to gain experience. If you really wish to pursue a career in the industry, read the books, take a class, audition for a local theatre production and network with other professionals in your area. Don’t think that someone’s going to pluck you off the streets when you have no experience and make you a star. Do the work like the pros do!

FAQ: How do I break in to the business?

Friday, July 30, 2010

TNT Renews "Leverage"

by admin

TNT/Erik Heinila

TNT announced today that it has renewed Leverage for a fourth season.

Leverage is currently averaging 4.1 million viewers in its third season, showing growth among young adult demos when compared to the second season. The series boasts a loyal following, as indicated by its strong performance in time-shifted viewing. For the first five episodes this summer, Leverage has grown its total audience by 60% when compared to live viewing (33% compared to Live + Same Day).

Leverage is executive-produced by Dean Devlin (Independence Day, TNT’s The Librarian trilogy) and creators John Rogers (Transformers) and Chris Downey (The King of Queens). The series is produced for TNT by Devlin’s Electric Entertainment.

Read the full press release at the Turner Newsroom.

Congratulations to everyone!