Performance

A Day in the Life of a Stunt Double

BY CAT ELLIOTTvia www.castingnetworks.com If you’ve ever wondered what goes into the magic of on-camera stunts, keep reading. Stunt woman Katie Eischen, known for her work in “Supergirl,” “The Bourne Legacy” and “Date Night,” shares what a typical day looks like in the life of a stunt double. What’s your schedule like when you’re not on set? “I’m either training or doing what’s called ‘hustling.’ That entails taking my headshot and resume to stunt coordinators. If they’re on a location that I can show up to, I just drop in really quick to say hi and give them my materials. I take note of what they say to me, and then a couple of months later, I reach out to tell them I’ve taken their advice and thank them for it. Recently, a stunt coordinator said, ‘I see your contact info in my phone...

Audition Advice with Casting Director Christine Sheaks

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com From “Fargo” to “Boogie Nights,” Christine Sheaks has cast some of the greats. Sheaks took a break from one of her current projects, the “Dramaworld” series on Netflix, to offer her take on auditioning best practices. Is there any advice that you think all actors should hear? “Actors need to know who they are and be connected to it before they get in the room. What makes an actor different is what’s going to get him or her the job; it’s a light that shines brightly. When William H. Macy used to audition, he did this so well. He’d just come in and do his thing. It may not have been for everyone, but it would always be true to who he was. I was the casting associate for ‘Fargo,’ and we had him come in and read several times. He wasn’t a star yet, bu...

A Day in the Life of a Voice Actor

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com Ever wonder what it’s like to be the voice behind an animated character? How about the voice behind a commercial pitch or the lead character in a video game? Look no further. Veteran voice actor Greg Chun, known for voicing George Roberts in “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,” Ike in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and Takayuki Yagami in “Judgment,” shares a typical day in the life of a voice artist and offers insights for those considering a career in the field. What’s a typical day look like for you? “I wake up and see what auditions are due in the morning, and I’ll jump in my home studio by around 8 o’clock to hammer those out. Then I’ll leave to go to my recording sessions for jobs I’ve already booked for that day. Afterwards, if I have more audition...

Romeo + Juliet: Star-crossed lovers bridging the gap between American Sign Language and English

BY MISHA BERSON  via www.seattletimes.com In ACT Theatre’s “Romeo + Juliet,” Joshua Castille, as Romeo, will discourse primarily through American Sign Language (ASL). Gabriella O’ Fallon, as Juliet, will deliver her lines in spoken English. Shakespeare’s text has gone through a several-step translation process, then turned into ASL poetry. Wooing Juliet from beneath her balcony, Romeo proclaims, “O, speak again, bright angel!” The star-crossed teen lovers do a lot of talking in Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet,” which contains some of the richest, most passionately lyrical verse in the Bard of Avon’s canon. And the pair will have plenty to say in the new ACT Theatre production — but they will be speaking the speech in two different languages. Noted deaf...

10 Skills for Audiobook Narration + Voice Work

BY MARC CASHMAN via www.backstage.com Narrating an audiobook is the most challenging work you can do in voiceover. It takes myriad skills to navigate them successfully but if you can master the 10 skills below, you’ll be successful in accomplishing a performance most audiobook listeners take for granted. 1. Articulation This involves enunciating words and phrases correctly, clearly, and cleanly. There should be no over- or under-articulation (unless it’s a character); no sibilance or whistling (most commonly heard on the letter S or soft C) or lisping, and little to no mouth noise. 2. Breathing You must have enough breath so you don’t run out of air at the end of sentences or gasp for breath between or inside sentences. There should be no fading, swallowing, or gulping. Breath control also...

Actor Advice: Auditioning at Unified General Auditions

BY KEIKO GREEN via www.tpsonline.org Actor Advice from a UGA Volunteer Before she joined the TPS staff, Facilities Manager Libby Barnard volunteered at the Unified General Auditions — she has also auditioned numerous times, and plans to do so again this year. (Haven’t signed up yet? Click here to register!) This is a post she put together in 2014 about what she learned as a UGA volunteer. (Want to be a volunteer? Click here for info!) We post this as an additional resource that may be helpful for those preparing this year. The following are Libby’s personal opinions and do not reflect those of Theatre Puget Sound or our UGA auditors. ======================================= Obviously you can’t please every auditor. What follows is just my own opinion and lessons I decided to take, as a fell...

5 Tech Tools Every Actor Needs to Know

BY CAT ELLIOTT via www.castingnetworks.com If you’re an actor looking to jumpstart prospects in the new year, keep reading for some game-changing tech tools. While you’re waiting to hear back on that audition, instead of indulging in some emotional eating or watching “The Office” for the tenth time, check out these resources that will help move your career forward. I guarantee Jim and Pam will still be there when you’re done. Scenebot Cost: Free This little beauty seems to have flown under the radar, which is surprising since it allows actors to submit a self-taped monologue or scene once a month that can be seen by top industry pros. The app was co-founded by Nickelodeon casting director Krisha Bullock and boasts a list of 150 casting directors, agents and managers with whom it has partne...

Parting the Clouds of Callbacks and Casting

BY LAURIE RECORDS via www.castingnetworks.com The commercial casting process shouldn’t be a mystery. While every job is unique, there is an underlying structure to the process that, in theory anyway, we’ve all committed to when casting commercials. Why? Because it works! When talking to actors, there seems to be a cloud around callbacks, specifically, what happens after the callback. The stakes are higher during callbacks and what happens after, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be as informed about this part of the process as you are about the rest. Because knowledge is power, let me shed some light on the process that ought to pierce the clouds of confusion and anxiety. Say you had a terrific callback. But what the heck happens next? For you, not all that much. Just make sure you’re cl...

The Secret Life of Understudies on Philly’s Theater Scene

BY ZOE GROSSINGER via www.philly.com “Line?” Alanna J. Smith, decked out in emerald green face paint from head to toe and a witch’s black hat, yelled frantically to the stage manager. It was holiday season in 2016 and Smith was almost finished with her first staged production of The Wizard of Oz at the Walnut Street Theatre, having made zero mistakes so far. The line that slipped her mind? “I’m melting.” “Of course, the most famous line is the one I miss,” said Smith.   Not to worry. Smith, now an in-demand musical theater actress, was at the time an understudy for the Wicked Witch of the West role, and her flubbed line came during the “understudy run” of the production — a tradition in most Philadelphia theaters.   COURTESY WALNUT STREET THEAT Flubbing one key line as an underst...

J.K. Simmons on ‘Counterpart’ Season 2 and the ‘Crushing’ Moment That Changed His Life

The Oscar-winning actor opens up about the twists and turns of ‘Counterpart’ season two, how he pulls off dual leading roles, and the ‘divergence’ point that changed his life. by: Nick Schager The only thing better than one J.K. Simmons is two, which is a significant reason Counterpart is a top contender for best new show on television. After completing a sterling initial season earlier this year, Justin Marks’ twisty-turny sci-fi saga begins its excellent sophomore run on Starz this Sunday (Dec. 9). As before, its focus is squarely on Howard Silk (Simmons), a Berlin-situated government employee entangled in a Cold War-esque spy game—the catch being that the two sides at war are not East and West, but our world and an identical parallel dimension we discovered thirty years ago that’s popul...

2019 OTA Audition & Interview Registration NOW OPEN!

The 2019 North Central Regional Auditions and Interviews will take place January 19 & 20 on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania, located in California, PA. ACTOR/SINGER/DANCER REGISTRATION FORM Audition slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  This year’s audition forms MUST BE OPENED IN ADOBE READER TO BE FILLED OUT: OTA-Acting-Form-2019     TECHNICAL REGISTRATION  FORM OTA Tech Form 2019 EVENT INFORMATION 2019 Ohio Theatre Alliance Auditions 2019 Ohio Theatre Alliance Technical Interview

What to Know About Being on Set for the First Time

BY CASEY MINK via www.backstage.com As an actor trying to break into the film or television world, you spend endless days and nights dreaming of the moment you can finally step onto a set. But what happens when you actually get there? Do you know how to conduct yourself professionally on camera and off? Do you know the faux pas to avoid so you don’t give away your status as a newbie? Do you know when to pipe up and, conversely, when to zip it? Do you know how the actor’s role relates to the director and producer? It’s OK if you weren’t able to answer “yes” to every one of these questions—even Meryl Streep once walked onto a set for the first time. (Though she was probably brilliant on that day, too.) We’re all allowed to start somewhere, and Backstage wants to make sure you are starting wi...

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