Atlanta 2016 Panelist Bios

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Panelist Bios

Listed alphabetically…

RHAVYNN DRUMMER -is an Atlanta based Casting Director who has always had a love for actors and great performances.  She began her career in casting at Tyler Perry Studios.  While working at the studio she has participated in the casting of thirteen feature films, seven television series, and seven theatrical productions. She has had the privilege of working on projects like “The Family that Preys,” “Why did I Get Married Too?” “The Marriage Counselor” and the most recent television series’ “The Haves and The Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong” currently on the Oprah Winfrey Network.  Rhavynn graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Theater and American Studies.  During her time at UVA she started the Paul Robeson Players, a theater company focused on producing African-American stories and experiences. Rhavynn created the digital series, Good Girls, which follows four women of faith as they navigate the morality and individuality by living and dating in Atlanta. The series was released in June of 2014 and went on to win awards at the Bronze Lens Film Festival along with the Black Women in Film and Television Festival. For more information go to www.rhavynndrummer.com.

MARK FINCANNON, CSA -A veteran casting director of 35 years, Mark and his  brother Craig own Fincannon and Associates, Inc. a motion picture casting company started by the brothers in Charlotte, NC in 1979. They moved the company to Wilmington, NC in 1983 to accommodate the casting needs for the newly emerging Screen Gems studios begun by legendary film producers Dino DeLaurentis and Frank Capra, Jr. Mark most recently moved to Atlanta to oversee the affairs of their office here. He is also the President of Luminarium Pictures, LLC, a film production companu with several films in development. Mark and his company have worked with legendary directors such as Steven Spielberg, Taylor Hackford, William Friedkin, David Lynch, and George Lucas, to name a few. They have been responsible for casting 200 feature films, 100 television movie-of-the-weeks, 15 mini-series, and hundreds of hours of television series. Mark, a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, won an Emmy for his work on Tom Hank’s HBO series From The Earth To The Moon. He is currently casting the CBS series, MacGyver, and is entering into his 5th season of the much loved series, Nashville, now airing on CMT. A few other notable series that Mark has cast are Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Drop Dead Diva, and Devious Maids. His greatest challenge to date was from his recent work on End Of The Spear, the historical film about the Woadani Indians of Ecuador when he successfully discovered, cast, and trained indigenous Indians from Panama to portray the Woadani Indians. Away from the office, Mark has been involved in several organizations which includes New Life Ministries (a performing arts ministry out of Cary, NC serving orphans in Eastern Europe), The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, media Fellowship International, and the Save Our Kids Outreach. Mark and his wife, Sharon, have 4 daughters, 4 sons-in-law, 3 grandson’s, and a granddaughter.

JESSICA FOX-THIGPEN – As Owner of Fox Casting, Jessica Fox-Thigpen specializes in casting scripted projects for film, television, commercials, and corporate industrials. Recent projects include 40 combined episodes of the hit TV series’ Swamp Murders and Your Worst Nightmare plus the new series, Dead Silent for Investigation Discovery; the new music video Never Better by Game of Thrones star Raleigh Ritchie and the feature film, Denial, by Emmy award-winning director, Mick Jackson.  Jessica honed her casting eye in the mid-1980’s with Mick Dowd Casting in Los Angeles, where she secured talent for commercial campaigns. Accounts included Oscar Meyer, Discover Card, Toyota, 7-Up, Miller Light, Bud Light, AT&T, Oil of Olay, Six Flags, Cheerios, Maybelline, Ford and Cheer. She also assisted with casting the Orion Pictures film Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman.  After spending the next 20 years as Co-Owner of Travis Fox, Inc., Jessica helped individuals foster a world-class mindset in their business and personal lives. She produced live events and multi-media products, working with clients like Honda, Goldman Sachs, T-Mobile, Huddle House, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and Bell Atlantic. Jessica is also a Certified Coach by the Institute for Social & Emotional Intelligence. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and four younger children. Her oldest son is a former Air Force Special Operator, who is now studying at Georgetown Law.

TRACY KILPATRICK – Tracy Kilpatrick is an Emmy Award winning casting director who has been in the business for over 20 years.  She started on the Coen Brothers’ “Hudsucker Proxy” as an assistant, and since has been involved with casting projects of all sizes and types.  Her film credits include (but are certainly not limited to Forrest Gump, Dead Man Walking, Dallas Buyers Club, 99 Homes, and recently LBJ, and Fast and Furious 8.  Her television credits include John Adams, Bonnie and ClydeThe WeddingConfirmationRed Road, Hap and Leonard and  Mercy Street.  Tracy and her company, The Casting Office, Inc.  are presently casting a pilot and 2 features in the Atlanta area.  Tracy, as a casting director is always looking for the best actor who can tell the story truthfully.

BRUCE H. NEWBERG:. Theatre: BIG RIVER (Artios Award), SPRING AWAKENING  (Artios Award), (The Taper, The Annenberg, Broadway); SHOWBOAT, MUSIC MAN, MY FAIR LADY, CAMELOT, SOUND OF MUSIC, SUNSET BOULEVARD. MAME, LES MISERABLES (Hollywood Bowl); HAIR, 1776, PIPPIN, SHE LOVES ME , COMPANY (Artios Award), ASSASSINS, BRIGADOON, ON THE 20TH CENTURY, ANYTHING GOES (Reprise). TELEVISION: THE CLOSER, MAJOR CRIMES, BAD TEACHER, THE CLASS, 20 GOOD YEARS, STATE OF MIND, TRUST ME, HELLCATS. FILM includes: THE CHERRY ORCHARD, SPAWN, WALKING ACROSS EGYPT, LOVELIFE, JUST WRITE.  EDUCATION: TUFTS UNIVERSITY AND UCLA FILM SCHOOL. Bruce recently relocated to Atlanta and is excited to partner with Shay Griffin to promote and cast actors in Georgia’s seven billion dollar film industry.  They have just completed their first film, FINDING STEVE MCQUEEN, starring Forrest Whitaker and are about to begin casting the miniseries, CHARMING THE HEARTS OF MEN and the Netflix film, THE CANDY JAR.

GEORGE PIERRE – Since opening its doors back in 2007, Pierre Casting has had the pleasure of casting for CNN, TBS, BET, DISNEY, TV ONE & UPTV and most recently 20th Century FOX.  To features like, Three Can Play That Game, Pastor Brown, Stomp The Yard 2, MTV’s Teen Wolf, Sony Screen Gems No Good Deed which was the # 1 movie in America for 2 weeks, Scary Movie 5, Universal Studios, Ride Along as well as In The Mean Time, A Christmas Blessing, Comeback Dad, & Lyfe’s Journey, David Talbert’s “A Meyers Christmas” ABFF’S award winning thought provoking film “Bad Dad Rehab”, are now part of Pierre Casting’s resume. Most recently TV One’s hit new sitcom Born Again Virgin. Currently Pierre Casting is a part the Lee Daniels new show STAR, and is about to begin production on BET’s “THE QUAD” and Bounce TV’s new 1 hour series Saints & Sinners, now in its 2nd season.  Pierre Casting looks fwd to casting new projects and finding new talent.

SCOTT THIGPEN – Scott Thigpen has been Chief Operations Officer of Crazy Legs Productions since 2012. In that time, the company has grown to become one of the leading producers of non-fiction television and branded entertainment. Just a few of the recent series developed and produced by Crazy Legs include Prancing Elites Project for Oxygen, A Season With Notre Dame Football and A Season With Florida State Football for Showtime, Dead Silent for Investigation Discovery, and many more. In addition to overseeing company operations, Thigpen also directs episodes of Crazy Legs’ recreation-based programming like Swamp Murders, Bloodlands, and Your Worst Nightmare for ID, as well as Hidden City and Faked Out for Travel Channel.  Before coming to Crazy Legs, Thigpen’s career focused on social issues programming. He co-produced and edited the Emmy Award-winning Holocaust documentary Burning Questions; wrote, produced and directed The Last Child, examining global polio eradication efforts; produced the women’s empowerment documentary feature A Powerful Noise, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. And in recognition of International Women’s Day, he developed and produced the events, A Powerful Noise LIVE and Half the Sky LIVE, both simulcast in nearly 500 theatres nationwide.  Thigpen is a member of the Producers Guild of America, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Georgia chapter. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Jessica, and four of their five children.

 

Moderator Bios

Listed alphabetically…

BLAIR HICKEY – Blair Hickey is a developer and consultant for Breakdown Services, the co-founder of CastingAbout, and has been a working actor for over 20 years. After receiving a degree in Theatre Arts from Brown University, Blair began his career in New York, working mostly on stage and in daytime soaps. Since moving to Los Angeles, he’s worked primarily in TV, appeared in such shows as CHICAGO HOPE, THE PRACTICE, ALLY McBEAL, GHOST WHISPERER, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, MEDIUM, HEROES, HARRY’S LAW and TOUCH. In 2004, Blair used his experience and success with actor marking to co-create CastingAbout, the online casting and production guide. CastingAbout partnered with Breakdown Services in 2009, and now maintains offices in Los Angeles and New York.

GARY MARSH – Founder and CEO of Breakdown Services/Actors Access.  Marsh began his career as an actor after emigrating from England in 1963. Marsh terminated his acting career to begin Breakdown Services in 1971. A graduate of UCLA in 1976, Gary is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The family of companies that he has created employs over 100 people. Breakdown Services occupies a unique position of trust within the entertainment community since they are the only company given access to virtually all scripts and are charged with the responsibility of synchronizing all roles contained within these scripts both objectively and accurately.

JASON TERESI – Jason Teresi was born and raised in Chicago. He attended DePaul Theatre School and Columbia College Theatre School. After graduating in 1995 Jason moved to Los Angeles. Wanting to work somewhere in the industry and avoid waiting tables he started working at Showfax, which was soon bought-out by Breakdown Services. He was employed by both companies for over 8 years which gave him a unique look at other aspects of the entertainment industry and a better working knowledge of how Talent Agents and Casting Directors operate. In 2006, Jason moved back to Chicago and became the Director of Regional Services for Breakdown Services, his current role.

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