Austin 2016 Event Schedule

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Event Schedule

The Actor Symposium Series: Austin

Bringing Together Casting Directors from Across the Country for a Day of Seminars Designed for the Working Actor

Tickets for all seminars are on sale now!  Buy your tickets here.

Saturday April 2, 2016 Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas, Austin)

Please bring valid id.  9:00AM Check-in begins.  Sign in at the Registration table and we will provide you with wristbands for the seminars you have registered for.  A limited number of tickets may be available at the door.  Buy your tickets ahead of time to assure your participation!

Please Note:  Panelists and moderators are subject to change without notice!


SEMINAR 1 – 9:30AM – 11:00AM – “Get More Auditions”

There is more to being a successful working actor than just signing with an agent. Get the inside scoop on how to make a good first impression and why certain actors are called in time and time again.

Commercial and Theatrical Casting Directors will give you their perspective on these essentials:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Standing out from the crowd
  • Selecting the right headshot for the role
  • Attaching the appropriate and most effective media to your submission
  • Working in partnership with your agent
  • Panelists:
    • Brenda Ambrize (Ambrize Casting) Austin, TX
    • Steve Maisel (Maisel Casting) Austin, TX & Los Angeles, CA
    • Tisha Blood (Buffalo Casting) Dallas, TX
    • Dolores Jackson (Dolores Jackson Casting) Houston, TX
  • Moderator: Blair Hickey (CastingAbout)

SEMINAR 2 – 11:15AM – 12:00PM – “BONUS: Behind the Scenes of the Casting Process”

  • FREE TO ALL SYMPOSIUM ATTENDEES
  • Presented by:
    • Gary Marsh (Breakdown Services)
    • Jason Teresi (Breakdown Services)

This is a rare opportunity to look over the shoulder of the Casting Director. A revealing, behind the scenes look at how the Casting Director sees your submission and your ability to have an impact on the way it’s viewed.

  • See where your submission goes and how to have an impact on how it’s viewed
  • Find out what makes a good headshot and why you need one
  • What does your headshot look like in a sea of submissions
  • How to move to the top of the submission list with a SlateShot and clips
  • The importance of succinct notes and clips

An eye-opening experience, this workshop is designed specifically to help actors land roles.


SEMINAR 3 – 12:15PM – 1:45PM – “Auditioning Dos & Don’ts”

Getting an audition is great, but making the most of it is the key to success. Casting Directors share the things actors do that either drive them nuts, or put that actor on the short list.

Get the Casting Director’s informed perspective on:

  • Audition preparation
  • Props
  • Eyeline
  • Action
  • Costumes
  • In person vs. virtual auditions
  • Panelists:
    • Donise Hardy (A Casting Place) Austin, TX
    • Sharon Bialy (Bialy / Thomas Casting) Los Angeles, CA
    • Tisha Blood (Buffalo Casting) Dallas, TX
  • Moderator: Veronica Kelley-Albiez (DVA Talent)

LUNCH – 1:45PM – 2:35PM


SEMINAR 4 – 2:45PM – 4:15PM – “Auditioning Opportunities and the Art of Self-Taping”

More and more Casting Directors are reaching outside of their regional markets to find fresh, new talent. Hear how Casting Directors are using tools like Eco Cast to cast their projects and expand opportunities for themselves and for you. From the sublime to the ridiculous, you’ll learn how the self-tape can be your strongest ally or your worst enemy.

  • Do Casting Directors really watch self-tapes?
  • How do you submit self-tapes to casting?
  • How have virtual auditions changed the way the industry works?
  • What are the main pitfalls to avoid when self-taping?
  • What makes a good self-tape?
  • Panelists:
    • Mark Fincannon (Fincannon & Associates) Atlanta, GA
    • Meredith Petty Hughes (Fincannon & Associates) Atlanta, GA
  • Moderator: Gary Marsh (Breakdown Services)

SEMINAR 5 – 4:30PM – 6:00PM – “Austin to LA”

“I’m moving to Los Angeles!” But should you? Casting Directors lead a frank discussion about this important decision, as well as what you need to do before you go and the first things to do once you get there.

  • Panelists:
    • Pam Dixon (Pam Dixon Casting) Los Angeles, CA
    • Beth Sepko-Lindsey (Beth Sepko Casting) Austin, TX
    • Sharon Bialy (Bialy / Thomas Casting) Los Angeles, CA
  • Moderator: Blair Hickey (CastingAbout)

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