Monday, March 05, 2012

Call for Actor Submissions for NBC Diversity Scene Showcase (Los Angeles)

Call for Actor Submissions for NBC Diversity Scene Showcase (Los Angeles)

Start: 03/05/2012 - 9:00am
End: 03/30/2012 - 11:59pm

As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity, NBCUniversal will hold auditions for actors wishing to be considered for the NBC Diversity Scene Showcase this coming June in Los Angeles. The showcase will feature actors, writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, including LGBT actors and Performers with Disabilities.

Selected participants perform for NBC Entertainment executives and casting directors, talent agents, managers, as well as other industry professionals.

The NBC Diversity Scene Showcase is a one night event where NBC produces a showcase of 5 minute scenes by up-and-coming diverse writers and directors, starring new diverse talent. This event has been quite a success for past participants with some getting staffed and booked on NBC shows!

To submit electronically, go to through the Actors Access section and the link listed as the NBC Diversity Scene Showcase. Only one submission will be accepted.

Where: Los Angeles, USA

Who: Participants must be at least 18 years old. Previous experience/training is recommended of all, but professional representation is not necessary.

How: NBC will contact performers to schedule an audition.


When: Deadline is Friday, March 30, 2012


SUBMIT ONE PICTURE AND RESUME. No tapes, or written material other than a resume.
DO NOT DOUBLE SUBMIT if already submitted through another union or other entities.

Friday, February 24, 2012


AFTRA’s open door policy – which allows anyone to join the union online by paying the initiation fee – will end if SAG and AFTRA merge, The Hollywood Reporter reports. In its place will be new SAG-AFTRA rules that primarily mirror SAG’s existing ones – a set of requirements that have made a meme out of “How do I get my SAG card?”

In addition, the price is changing: at $3,000, the new initiation fee is higher than SAG’s $2,277 or AFTRA’s $1,600, but less than the two combined.

That translates to a 23% savings for actors who would otherwise join both unions – as many do, since the overwhelming majority of new scripted television series have gone AFTRA since 2009, while movies remain a SAG-only business.

There’s good news for existing members who aren’t dual cardholders: according to a source, those who paid only one union’s initiation fee won’t have to pay the difference between that amount and the higher SAG-AFTRA fee. They’ll be grandfathered at the lower fee.

Those who are dual cardholders and previously paid initial fees that amounted to more than $3,000 – such as $2,277 plus $1,600, i.e., $3,877) – might wonder whether the new union will refund the difference. That’s unknown, although one would assume it’s unlikely.

Initiation fees aren’t the only cost associated with union membership: there are also annual dues. As THR previously reported, those will decrease for some members and increase for others under a merged union.

The new entrance rules will allow someone to join if they score a job as a principal under a SAG-AFTRA contract; work for 3 days as a background performer (i.e., extra) in a SAG-AFTRA background role; are a member of a sister union for at least a year and have worked as a principal performer; or are an employee at a company that the union board has targeted for organizing, such as new cable networks or small broadcast stations.

The first three methods are essentially the same as under existing SAG rules, while the fourth is new. The tighter requirements mark a new development for DJs, announcers, newspersons and sportscasters, although the fourth option is obviously intended to soften the change, at least for those groups. It’s not known how they’ll react, although THR is told that G1 members from those constituencies agreed to the change.

The difficulty of qualifying under the guild’s rules have helped make SAG membership aspirational and contributed to the value of the organization’s “brand name.”

For actors, the tighter rules and increased dues mark a change from AFTRA’s current approach. The changes would take effect upon ratification of the merger proposal, which wouldn’t happen until around mid-March at the earliest, given typical SAG and AFTRA referendum timetables.

However, AFTRA’s board could decide at its meeting this weekend to tighten entrance procedures in order to forestall a “land rush” of new members during the weeks that the proposal will be out for balloting – or even under legal challenge. Whether it will take such action is unknown, although a flood of new membership applications in the next few days could precipitate such action.

Nonetheless, aspiring actors who jump at the chance to join AFTRA now – in order to be grandfathered in at the lower initiation fee and essentially non-existent entrance requirements – may be making a mistake. That’s because union membership may cut them off from non-union work too early in their careers – i.e., at a time when the more competitive union jobs are out of their reach. For that reason, advice columns and books often counsel new actors to be cautious about joining SAG or AFTRA early on – even if they’ve qualified for the coveted SAG card.

The new membership rules are technical enough to warrant explanation:

1. Hired for a SAG (or, post-merger, SAG-AFTRA) principal role. This is the classic way for someone to get admitted to a union, and would be unchanged under SAG-AFTRA: the non-union actor get hired for a union job. This isn’t easy, because existing SAG members are theoretically first in line.

As soon as the actor books the job, he or she becomes “SAG Eligible.” Thirty days later, the actor becomes “SAG Must Join,” and can no longer work SAG jobs without joining the union. The union enforces this rule by requiring producers to verify the actor’s status by contacting the union, a procedure oddly called “Station 12.” There don’t seem to be any Stations 1 through 11.

(Alternatively, a SAG Must Join actor can elect the legally-protected “financial core” status, and pay slightly reduced dues without actually joining. Fi-core is an option that allows people to work union jobs and get the benefits of those jobs, such as residuals, but also them to work non-union despite SAG’s Global Rule 1 to the contrary (which is a rule that will largely survive the transition to SAG-AFTRA, at least for actors). For that reason, fi-core is despised by unions, but in any case it’s chosen by very few members of SAG or other entertainment unions. Another wrinkle: in “right to work” states – primarily conservative “red states” – people can’t be required to join a union even if they don’t go fi-core.)

2. Three days as a background performer in a SAG (or, post-merger, SAG-AFTRA) background role. In a SAG covered movie or a SAG (or AFTRA) covered TV show, a certain number of background positions are generally subject to union minimums and conditions; the remainder are not. A non-union actor who scores one of the SAG-covered positions gets a voucher attesting to that fact. Three vouchers and the performer can (and must) join the guild.

Critics say the so-called three voucher system is open to abuse, since assistant directors in practice have wide latitude in determining who gets the valuable union chits. Some want to loosen the rule, while many SAG background performers want the requirements tightened further. Although the system will survive the transition to SAG-AFTRA, there is apparently some board sentiment for later changing it.

3. Sister union membership. A performer who is a member of a performers union that’s part of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America – the archaic “Artistes” is not a typo – for at least a year and has had at least one principal role (e.g., not a background role, or extra) is eligible to join any other Four A’s union. Among those unions are SAG, AFTRA and Actor’s Equity. That reciprocity has made AFTRA’s open membership policy a route to SAG membership. If SAG and AFTRA merge, that relatively easy route disappears, although it will remain for members of Equity (which is not an open door union) or the several smaller, more specialized components of the Four A’s.

4. Employees of targeted employers. This one is new: if the SAG-AFTRA board decides to campaign for an employer to go union, it can decide to offer the employees union membership. This is apparently intended to address concerns of DJs, announcers, newspersons and sportscasters, who have operated to date under AFTRA’s open door membership policy and loosely-interpreted “No Contract, No Work” rule rather than SAG’s tighter membership requirements and stringent Global Rule 1.

Some technical details of interest in the regions outside of major production centers: Under current SAG and AFTRA rules, lower initiation fees are available to actors who join in some smaller markets. It’s not known whether this will be the case in the new union.

Also, under current SAG rules, such members who later work in higher-fee areas such as New York or Los Angeles may have to pay the difference between the discounted fee and the higher fee, such as $2,277. With the highe fee increasing the $3,000 in the new union (assuming merger passes), that might mean that current members who paid a discounted local fee would end up making up a larger difference than anticipated. This is unknown at this time.

Some of these details may become clear when the merger proposal is released next week, but perhaps not all of them, in light of the fact that a source told THR earlier in the week that some matters will be left to the discretion of the new union’s board.

Courtesy of: The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, February 02, 2012

"My Hero, My Brother" Staged Reading (NY)

Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America in Collaboration with the Asian American Film Lab presents the Staged Reading of “My Brother, My Hero”

Ancient China, time and again an ambitious, young legislator advance his own career at the expense of his tribe until his brother galvanizes the tribe to a doomed rebellion against the empire.

Written by: Jisen John Ho
Directed by: Wayne Chang
Cast: (in apathetically order)
J.B. Alexander, Andy Baldeschwiler, Amy Chang, Lisa Dennett, Alexandra Hellquist, Victoria Lee , Carl Li, Jan Mizushima, Stephen Thornton, and Roger Yeh.

Date: Saturday, February 4th, 2012
Doors Open: 4:40pm
Performance Starts Promptly at: 5:00pm
Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 East 26th Street (Between 2nd and 1st Street)
New York, NY 10010

Facebook Event:

Suggested donation: $5.00

Friday, September 02, 2011

How Hard is it to have a TV/Film Career in NYC?

This question came from a reader (sorry - it took me THIS long to respond)

<--- this is solely my personal perspective --->

My answer is: VERY HARD. Considering New York is known to be the Theater World, and LA is the Land. So, already, there are less TV shows that is being shot in New York, so the opportunities of getting a TV/Film audition is already less compare if you are in Los Angeles.

But it's not the End of the World. Seriously - there are many working Actors in New York, mostly Theatre Actors - but they do work on TV/Film projects from time to time. An audition is an audition - no one really limits their career in just "Theatre" or "TV/Film" only. If that's the case, then having a career as a Working Actor can be very tough in New York.

My friend Timothy is a good example. When I first met him on set (of a short film), I was aware of that he was starring in an Off-Broadway show. In additions to the show, he also bar-tended part time to maintain his living expenses. Plus vocal training, scene study & audition technique classes, GYM, and headshot/resume /postcard - all cost money. Eventually, he started to shift his focus to and FILM - and have gotten reoccurring roles on Day Time Soap, as well as Guest Star roles on TV shows, plus a number of commercials.

Sounds good, right? For an Actor to do both Theatre/TV/Film/Commercial - But guess what? he ended up moving to Los Angeles, because he wants to focus on TV/Film works.

Just a couple month ago, on Twitter, I asked another Actor friend of mine Russ Russo:

Me: So, now that you are in LA - do you feel there's more opportunities in the West Coast?

Him: for TV and film. Yes. Theatre. Not as much

It's as simple as that. In order to not have a survival job (full time or part time), and still making a living doing solely Acting, getting income on a regular basis - it's hard to come by in New York. Especially there are more Film "Stars" who started to work on TV series... All the 'known' TV actors get bumped down to Guest Stars roles, and the usual "Guest Star" actors got bumped down to Co-Star, and then so and so forth. If you are not a Name talent - how can you possibly beat the competition?

The brutal truth is - the best actor does not always get the role.

Have real acting chops will help an actor prolong his/her career - but in order to get through the door, there are many factors involved. Especially....


Who are you? Do people know you? Can you draw an audience?

In the world of Show Business - it's all about the business at the end of the day. How much money can the production company make from having you in the cast?

So usually, for a bigger budget production (or commercially marketed film), the producers would like to have a recognizable name. (Honestly, would you go watch a movie with a bunch people you don't know? Or you rather spend your money on a film starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Emma Stone, Johnny Depp, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, and Ryan Gosling?)

That is when a Casting Office is hired to handle the casting. Getting the right names and talents to fill the puzzle.

Getting the Audition

Talent Agents and Managers can pitch their talents to the Casting Office - in order to get their clients audition appointments. (Bigger Name talents, are usually offer only)

If the Casting Office is not familiar with the Actor's work - the question is usually "What has he/she done?"

Then the talent representative will have to list all the recognizable projects that the actor has done... and see if that is name-worthy enough to get the appointment. (other factors that may help an Agent/Manager to pitch their client is pedigree (graduated from well known school), relatives of someone famous, and trained by a prestigious acting teacher, etc.)

Something that will guarantee this Actor will not waste the Producer, Director, and the Casting Director's time.

Once the appointment is granted - it's up to the Actors to ace the Audition and the Call Back.

Getting the right Representation

For bigger legit projects, the Actors need the right representation to help them move up the Acting Career Ladder.

So what attracts the Agents and Manager's attention (aside from the obvious physical appearance)?

It's what you have done, and what can you do.

What have you done - Projects that will attract people's attention. A popular Theatre/TV/Film that you recently starred. If you are currently starring in a popular show, or gotten good reviews in the paper, Agents/Managers/Casting Directors will pay attention.

What can you do - When auditioning or invited Agents/Managers to your show - make sure you make them your fan! Show them what you can and share the passion for the craft. People will need to believe in you in order for them to help you.

Once you got yourself a representation, you still have go go out on your own to create more work, and continue to work on your craft. When you book something, let your agent/manager know, so they can use that to pitch you to the Casting Office.

How to get into a Popular Show?

Work your way up.

From off-off-off Broadway, to Off-Off Broadway, to Off-Broadway, and then Broadway.

From student films, to Independent Films, to Low-budget Films, and then Hollywood Films.

From ensembles/background, to day players/co-stars, to Guest Stars, Principal, Supporting and Leading Roles.

I'm a strong believer of Work brings more Work. (And you need to be in the center of where "WORK" is, to get more "Work, right?)

If you are truly passionate about Acting as a career - and this is something you want to do for the rest of your life. Eventually, your passion will help to guide you to the right direction.

It's the combination of perseverance, talent, skill, and dedication.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Metal Gear Office

I recently cast a Web Short for the guys at Blue Core Studios - Check it out!!

Thursday, June 09, 2011



Eye on Diversity at CBS is pleased to announce that Fern Orenstein, CBS Casting Vice President, is coming from Hollywood to present her acclaimed workshop two times only on Wednesday, June 22nd (3 to 6 p.m.) and Thursday, June 23rd (3 to 6 p.m.).

This workshop is an intensive experience designed to help actors land roles. Ms. Orenstein will share her extensive knowledge of the casting process and give actors her professional assessment of their headshots offering specific critiques on how best to market themselves. Ms. Orenstein will do one-on-one conversations with actors to help them identify the kinds of roles best suited to them.

This is an interactive and intensive experience and ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED.

Workshops will be held at CBS Headquarters, 51 West 52nd Street, NYC.

Submission Deadline is Monday 6/13/11.


260 Madison Ave., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Empress of China

Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America Presents:

The Empress of China

New Bilingual drama by Yangtze Rep's Artistic Director Joanna Chan, commissioned by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, had its world premiere in Hong Kong January 15-30, 2011.
American premiere in New York will be
June 3 to 26, 2011
at Theater for the New City.

June 3 to 26
Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 3 PM.
Additional performance Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 PM
Theatre for the New City, 155 First Avenue
(between 9th and 10th Streets), Manhattan (East Village)

Tickets $30/TDF; Students & Seniors: $25;
groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount.
Special "pay what you can" performance
Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 PM

Tickets are available at or 347-759-2937 or email:

"The Empress of China" is based on the arrival of the first American trading vessel in Canton in 1784. Aboard The Empress of China was the historical figure Samuel Shaw, a Revolutionary War officer, businessman and diplomat. Chan creates a relationship between Shaw and Purple Lotus, a fictional character of great beauty and charm, who captures the American’s heart. Through their relationship the play explores the profound differences in the way the central characters and their two societies viewed the world and their places in it. All this takes place as the Americans, fresh from their own revolution, are desperately trying to establish trade with China. The play offers historical insights into the Chinese ways and American efforts to establish the new country’s place in the world.

The cast is led by Andrei Drooz and Annie Q. as the romantic leads and also features a large multi-ethnic cast that includes William Allgood, Sergio Mauritz Ang, Jason DeShen Cao, Harris Diano, Teresa Du, Bill Engst, Stephan Goldbach, Kwan ShuMei, Arthur Lai, Lin Ying, Joanne Liu, Mike J. McNulty, Katelynn Mory, B J Peterson, Craig Kelton Peterson, Wilson Pok, Gary Sugai, Lantie Tom, Dennis Tsiu and Alan Lei Zhou.

Set design provided by Lauren Rockman; lighting by Joyce Liao and costumes by Xu HaoJian/Edmond Wong. Other creative personnel include: James Gitsham (fencing master), David ChienHui Shen (Martial arts/dance choreography), Yuen Cheuk-Wa (original score), Su Sheng (Musical Consultant), Lin Ying (Production Assistant) and Sheena L. Young (Stage Manager).

ABC Television Diversity Talent Showcase

Upcoming Pilots and Casting Projects

Deadline for Submissions is June 3

As part of its ongoing effort to discover and develop culturally and ethnically diverse talent and actors with disabilities, the Disney ABC Television Group's Casting Project will hold auditions for consideration for the ABC Talent Showcase. This opportunity also affords the majority of participants the chance to audition for a variety of ABC (and other networks') pilots and ongoing programming. ABC has a long-standing commitment to promoting diversity in the entertainment industry through a variety of projects administered by its Talent Development & Casting departments. The Casting Project offers an excellent opportunity for talent that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Administered by its Talent Development & Casting departments, ABC’s Casting Project has established an industry standard in creating opportunities for talent that might otherwise go unnoticed, with the majority of participants being given the chance to audition for a variety of ABC (and other networks’) pilots and ongoing programming. All are welcome to submit.

WHERE: New York City
WHO: Participants must be at least 18 years old. Previous acting experience/training is required of all, but professional representation is not necessary.
HOW: ABC will contact selected actors to schedule an audition.





Submit your PHOTO and RESUME to:

260 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Please submit to only one of these options, as extra submissions will be discarded.

IF SELECTED, you must be available for the following periods:

Auditions: June 9 – June 24
Callbacks and Scene Selection Process: July through August

Rehearsals: Sept. 9 – Sept. 19