During this quarantine, it’s easier than ever to get seen by a huge casting director.

I feel a bit guilty offering exciting news when there are people dying. Bear with me, I’ll have the details in a moment.

The show must go on. At first glance, that sounds selfish. After all, aren’t all artists selfish and looking for attention? I don’t think so. In fact, in these turbulent times, when people are stuck at home, and unable to visit friends and loved ones, barred from going out and comforting one another, the world has been able to find solace in books, music, movies, and TV shows.

Performing arts have always existed as a means to make us feel less alone. Throughout history, people who have felt they are the only one struggling with depression, their sexual orientation, or being abused, the only way they discovered they weren’t alone was by seeing a story similar to their own in a book, film, or television show.

Be proud, artists. We help people process feelings. We offer comfort and aid. Right now, in today’s world, we need that. Obviously, doctors and nurses are on the front lines and truly risking their lives while saving others. By no means am I, a screenwriter, nearly as brave as my little sister, who is a nurse in New York. We’re all doing our part. I make sure to thank each worker I see in the grocery store (the only people I see other than my family all week!) 

Now, you’re an actor, and you’re stuck at home. Guess what? So are casting directors. And they are asking to see what you can do. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. They love to discover talent. A casting director lights up with excitement the same way a writer glows when he discovers a new idea for a movie.

Sophie Holland, casting director for ‘The Witcher’ (and many more great films, plays, and series) has opened up her schedule to host general meetings with actors every day. They use an online platform called WeAudition, and for more specific information as to the exact times, check out Sophie’s twitter profile @sophhollandcast or her assistant, Faye Timby, @fayetimby.

They will book these meetings on a first-come-first-serve basis, so click on it as soon as you’re done reading my other suggestions. I’ve heard through the Hollywood grapevine that casting directors Rob Kelly, Geralyn Flood, will be doing the same. You can also follow the IG hashtag they’re using #castingcrushescorona to find out which other casting directors are hopping on board to keep doing what they love to do— Meet actors like you!

Now, those of you that are still reading while you’re also logging on to WeAudition, I wanted to share what else is becoming popular. Reading scenes or entire plays on Zoom. Friend of mine did King Lear with his acting class, and they’ll never forget it as long as they live. Because for the rest of your life, people will ask you what you did during the quarantine. Your grandkids will want to know what it was like. And you’ll be able to say “I was a young, up and coming actor, so my friends and I read Shakespeare together on the computer!” You’ll even have pictures to show them.

Additionally, you’ll want to be able to look back on this time and know you did a little something to help others besides just being an entertainer. See who else you can help without breaking quarantine. I’ve always donated and volunteered time to families who have a child with cystic fibrosis. (Children who have compromised lung function). Their parents can’t set foot outside the house, as their children are VERY immunity-at-risk, so if you have an extra 20 bucks, you can send it to one of those families by visiting clairesplacefoundation.org and help them in this scary time for their children’s health.

Volunteer programs are popping up for elderly people who are home alone, and afraid. Or in a nursing home and can’t speak to others. Use the same google skills that allowed you to track down all the top casting directors, and see who needs somebody to talk to! Not all of us are young and popular anymore, so bring that youthful vitality you have to cheering someone up.

 America, and the world, will defeat Covid-19. It’s awful right now. People are dying, and people are scared. You’re an artist. Help people. Reach their hearts. Talk about your fears, but talk about your hopes. In real life, and through your roles, shine some light in this dark time.

Can I share an amazing experience I had as an actor? I wrote a movie about breaking up with a girl, and how I thought I couldn’t live without her. Seems a bit childish now, but it was what I was going through. The movie was quite a success for an indie film, played around the world and on Netflix and Hulu and HBO– But the surprise bonus for me, beyond residuals and attention, was a review I read by a viewer. There were many, mostly good. This one, however, I’ll never forget. It was by a woman who had lost her husband to cancer years earlier, and didn’t know how to get past it. And after watching my movie, about a man accepting that love is sometimes a long chapter in a life, and other times a short one. And the main character learned at the end it was time for him to move on to the next chapter— So this woman, in her review, said that by hearing that, in those words, allowed her to to do the same. Sounds corny, but the proudest moments of my life are when I’m able to help a fellow human being through an awful time.

You’re a performer. It’s your job to hold a mirror up to society. Bring us your experience, strength, and hope.

 

 

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