CBS Launches Drama Diversity Casting Outside of LA and NY

Posted on
YouTube Preview Image

CBS has launched a Drama Diversity Casting initiative, and is seeking new talent for their current series as well as upcoming pilots. So, from October 13-28, actors ages 18 and up are encouraged to submit self-taped monologues through their website CBScorporation.com.

According to the site, the CBS Diversity Casting Initiative is a nationwide program geared to find new break-out talent, and is specifically designed to provide opportunities for underrepresented talent. “This initiative is focused on increasing exposure for people who belong to groups that have traditionally been under-represented, including African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, LGBTQ actors and/or performers with disabilities,” the network states.

CBS Casting Executives will join together with casting directors from Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco to work with the selected talent during callbacks in these five cities. Actors will then rehearse scenes with the casting professionals before being taped. Please note that interested actors should only apply if they’re able to travel to one of the five regions, and pay their own expenses.

Here are the locations and dates of the Callbacks:

  • Atlanta, Georgia on November 7-9
  • Austin, Texas on November 3-4
  • Chicago, Illinois on November 2-4
  • Miami, Florida on November 10-11
  • San Francisco on November 10-11

After that, 14-16 actors will be selected from these callbacks. CBS will fly those fortunate few to Los Angeles for a screen test. For this reason, it’s important that talent only apply if they’re able to travel to Los Angeles during the week of December 12, 2016. These actors will be given opportunities to be cast in current network series, pilot season, and more.

“This outreach is a real opportunity for CBS to discover actors located across the country, outside of Los Angeles and New York, who haven’t had the chance to meet or be seen by network casting executives,” the president of CBS Entertainment, Glenn Geller said. “We’ve had great success with our CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, which launched the careers of numerous actors, and we are confident this will do the same.” 

Indeed, CBS had received criticism over the years, but especially this fall when its new fall series lacked diversity among the lead performers. That’s when the network pledged to take action to cast more diverse actors.

CBS’s Sketch Comedy Showcase has been going strong for eleven years now, and is likewise designed to highlight diverse talent through the CBS Diversity Institute Talent Showcases. To date, it has featured 354 actors who have been on thousands of auditions, and landed over 600 roles. The upcoming annual Sketch Comedy Showcase is set for January 2017 where selected talent will perform before a packed theater of agents, managers, studio and network executives, and Hollywood tastemakers.

If the new launching of the Drama Diversity Casting Initiative succeeds as well as the Sketch Comedy Showcases, then it can be a great opportunity for aspiring talent. After all, past sketch comedy participants include Justin Hires (Rush Hour), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Geoffrey Arend (Madam Secretary), Eugene Codero (Crazy Ex-Girlfrind), Masi Oka (Hawaii Five-O), and more.

The Best Reasons You Didn’t Get The Part

Posted on
HEADER_April_FrontierInsider

Can there ever be a good reason not to get the part? I know that you’re probably thinking “No!” Trust me, that’s the wrong answer.

I know that many actors walk into my office with one thing in mind, and one thing only: Booking that role! That’s a nice goal, but anyone who has worked in casting more than a couple of years will tell you, that should not be the goal on that day. Your goal every time you walk into a casting office is to deliver a strong enough audition for us to call you again in the future. Do that enough times and you will work. A lot.

 

i-2

 

Actors that understand the long-term aspect of auditioning tend to be the ones that book over and over. It’s about booking the room so that we call you in for years for many of our future projects. We don’t look at it the same way as actors. If you deliver consistently in the room and you are the right look, I want to use you in the best way possible. I do not want to waste my time reading you for a part you aren’t going to get.

There are actually several great reasons why you didn’t get the part.

If the part went to a name, it is one of the best reasons you were not cast. It means that they had the money for a name and that name accepted. Nothing was going to get you that part if the name said “yes.” We often have offers out to names while we are seeing other actors. We might cast the role while you are sitting in the waiting room. If this seems harsh then you are forgetting the cardinal rule of casting. The project always comes first. Over you, over me and maybe even over the producer.

Another good reason you might not have booked is because we decided after reading you that we were going to hold off until something better came along. What a compliment that is! I have done this so many times. I read an actor for a small role. I had never met them before. They blew me away. But since they didn’t get a callback for that small role they assume I hate them. Oh, so wrong.

This happens in television every day. We assume we have 100 episodes to cast and how we use each actor matters because anyone can say one line, but only a small percentage can handle a strong guest-star role. Add to this equation actors with very specific looks and it can be a true shortage if the show lasts long enough. We want to cast you however it best benefits the project.

And here’s maybe the most important reason an actor didn’t get the part and it’s a beauty. You simply weren’t right for the part. Sure, you may have fit the general, physical description in the breakdown, but so did a thousand other actors. It doesn’t do you any favors to cast you when you’re not right for the part. There’s nothing worse than the wrong actor in a role. How many times have you seen this in films and on television? It ruins the entire project.

I know you would all like nothing more than to book the role. But it’s important to remember that on any given day, it may not happen, and that actually may be for the best.


Mark Sikes began his casting career in 1992 for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Corman. In the past 24 years, he has cast over 100 films as well as television series, commercials and web series. He has cast projects for top directors such as Tobe Hooper, Mark Jones and Luke Greenfield and many others. Domestically, he as cast films in Los Angeles as well as in Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Virginia and multiple projects in Colorado.

 

Battling Nerves

Posted on
Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.30.53 PM

One of the biggest problems for actors are how to combat nerves. It can derail even the most prepared actor. I’ve had dozens of actors ask me how to quash this audition killer. The answer is manifold. When I studied in conservatory, we had relaxation classes, complete with visualization exercises, including lying on the ground pretending we were hollow and filled with liquid.  This liquid would slowly drain from our body, pulling the tension along with it. We would start at the tips of the toes, working through the ankles, the legs and so on. By the end of the 45 minute class, half of the students were either asleep or very relaxed. Which is great – IN THE CLASSROOM! But what are you going to do in an actual audition situation?

When they call your name, are you going to tell the casting director, “Oh, I’m sorry, I have to lie down for a little bit. I’ll tell YOU when I’m ready … ” It’s just not going to work. So here are a few practical tips for battling this Nerve demon.

Stressed actor

1.  PREPARATION:

Nothing is better at battle nerves than by being super prepared. If you go into that room and you know you are going to do something that no actor is going to do. If you have found profundities. If you have found a contradiction, a duality to play. In short, if you know you have a kickass performance to do, that no one else will approach in scope, there’s a good chance that you will be sitting in that waiting room chomping at the bit to get in there.

2.  THE MOMENT BEFORE:

We all know about the moment before. If we are shooting a scene, where we have to kick down a door to fight ten evil ninjas, then while the assistant director is saying, “Lock it up. Very quiet, we are rolling,” we are preparing outside that door, pumping ourselves up, ready to engage those ninjas. We are not standing there passively waiting for the director to call, “action!” Why then, in an audition, do we feel we have to shortchange our process? If you actually play that moment before in the room (yes, inside the room, in front of everybody) by the time the actual scene starts, they (producers, writers, casting director, etc.) will not exist to you anymore, and they will be vapor. Furthermore, playing that moment before in the room, gives you the opportunity to play something unique and profound that another actor may not.

3.  PERSPECTIVE:

I know as actors that we feel we are being judged in the audition. We are being judged as artists. We are being judged in regards to our abilities as actors. We think the casting director is sitting there thinking, “Hmm, is this guy any good? Because if he’s not, I am going to call his agent and tell them they suck!” In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The casting director is pulling for you. When you walk in, he or she is praying, “Please Dear God, Jesus, and Mohammed. Let this next actor, ‘get it’ and make my job that much easier. I have to find somebody to bring to the producers today and I haven’t seen anyone worthy since lunch.”

You see, dear actor, their butts are on the line too. They have a job to do. They brought you in because they believe that you can play this role. You are being given an opportunity and when you are given an opportunity to step up and impress, it’s time to do just that.

Always remember why you started acting in the first place. Whether it was singing songs at your dear Grandma’s birthday or playing all the parts from a Saturday Night Live skit at the breakfast table for your family, it was just for the love of performing. There was no pressure, no judgments, just joy. Try to get in touch with that love and that innocence once again. Try to find that young artist without guile, without pressures and say, “I’m going in there anyway. I think this time, I’m going to get out of my own way. I am going to give myself permission to win.” Give yourself permission to win my brothers and sisters, then go and do it.

 


 

DavidHeadshotGrayStudiosLogo

David Gray is the master instructor and co-owner of Gray Studios. A longtime student of acting, David Gray grew up on and around the stages of New York City. He is a graduate of NYC’s High School of Performing Arts. He studied extensively after high school with his prime mentor Anthony Abeson. He also attended H.B. Studios where he had the pleasure of studying with such teachers (and actors) as Herbert Bergoff, Carol Rosenfeld, Bill Hickey and Uta Hagen. As an actor, David has performed on and off Broadway. Most notable was his critically acclaimed portrayal of Rodolpho in the Tony Award Winning production of Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge. David most recently played Todd Palin in the critically acclaimed HBO movie, Game Change. Checkout out at GrayStudiosLA.com – 818-582-3943

Today’s Public Roles

Posted on

Role Name: Older boy (white), Gender: Male, Age Range: 11-12

Role Name: Older boy (ethnic), Gender: Male, Age Range: 11-12

Role Name: Jogger, Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-28

Role Name: Real Golfers Boys, Gender: Male, Age Range: 10-15

Role Name: Japanese little girl (hero), Gender: Female, Age Range: 4-8

Role Name: Japanese younger brother, Gender: Male, Age Range: 3-6

Role Name: Japanese Dad, Gender: Male, Age Range: 30-40

Role Name: Korean little girl (hero), Gender: Female, Age Range: 4-8

Role Name: Korean younger brother, Gender: Female, Age Range: 3-6

Role Name: Korean Dad, Gender: Male, Age Range: 30-40

Role Name: Eastern European guy, Gender: Male, Age Range: 55-65

Role Name:  Foam finger dad, Gender: Male, Age Range: 38-40

Role Name:  Foam finger son, Gender: Male, Age Range: 6-8

Role Name:  Cool girl (white), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-27

Role Name:  Cool girl (ethnic), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-27

Role Name:  Eastern European circus/ acrobat act, Gender: Both, Age Range: 18-50

Role Name:  Eastern European aunt, Gender: Female, Age Range: 70-80

Role Name:  Eastern European uncle, Gender: Male, Age Range: 70-80

Role Name:  Mom, Gender: Female, Age Range: 48-53

Role Name:  Dad, Gender: Male, Age Range: 50-55

Role Name:  Girlfriend, Gender: Female, Age Range: 19-21

Role Name:  Boyfriend (white), Gender: Male, Age Range: 19-21

Role Name:  Boyfriend (ethnic), Gender: Male, Age Range: 19-21

Role Name: Pregnant woman (white), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-26

Role Name: Pregnant woman (ethnic), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-26

Role Name: Teen boy (white), Gender: Male, Age Range: 17-18

Role Name: Teen boy (ethnic), Gender: Male, Age Range: 17-18

Role Name: Boy (white), Gender: Male, Age Range: 8-10

Role Name: Boy (ethnic), Gender: Male, Age Range: 8-10

Role Name: Younger boy (white), Gender: Male, Age Range: 5-6

Role Name: Younger boy (ethnic), Gender: Male, Age Range: 5-6

Role Name: Little girl (white), Gender: Female, Age Range: 5-6

Role Name: Little girl (ethnic), Gender: Female, Age Range: 5-6

 

 

Today’s Public Roles

Posted on

Role Name: Clutch Allen, Gender: Male, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21173

Role Name: Bull Sanders, Gender: Male, Age Range: 33-37, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21175

Role Name: Clint Anders, Gender: Male, Age Range: 28-32, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21176

Role Name: Brandon O’Malley, Gender: Male, Age Range: 18-20, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21177

Role Name: Rodrigo Dominquez, Gender: Male, Age Range: 28-30, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21179

Role Name: Sean McQueen, Gender: Male, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21181

Role Name: Dana Williams (white), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21184

Role Name: Dana Williams (ethnic), Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21185

Role Name: The Head, Gender: Male, Age Range: 45-55, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21199

Role Name: Antonio Braga, Gender: Male, Age Range: 33-37, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21182

Role Name: Jens Schwarz, Gender: Male, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21183

Role Name: Tobias Wilhelm, Gender: Male, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21174

Role Name: Paul Jackman, Gender: Male, Age Range: 38-40, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21178

Role Name: Hilario Bandini, Gender: Male, Age Range: 18-20, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21180

Role Name: Saiko, Gender: Male, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21171

Role Name: Suke, Gender: Female, Age Range: 24-27, Link: http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/21172

Today’s Public Roles

Posted on

Los Angeles:

Role Name: Elderly Man, Gender: Male, Age Range:59-65 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20939

Role Name: Elderly Woman, Gender: Female, Age Range 59-65 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20940

Role Name: Bank Associate, Gender: Female, Age Range: 25-29 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20941

New York:

Role Name: Ambar Jones, Gender: Female, Age Range: 8-10 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20924

Role Name: Sally Jones, Gender: Female, Age Range: 28-40 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20925

Role Name: Ed Jones, Gender: Male, Age Range: 28-40 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20926

Role Name: Dr.Ken Uche, Gender: Male, Age Range: 27-31 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20927

Role Name: Mathias, Gender: Male, Age Range: 28-40 http://database.castingfrontier.com/account/public_submissions/20928