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Earn $350/Day Shooting L.A. Student Film + More Paid Acting Gigs

18 August 2017 1:30 PM, PDT

This week’s casting roundup has something for everybody: student films, independent projects, and a nonunion theater gig—plus every casting notice is paid! Check ‘em all out below.   “I’M Death”“I’m Death,” a student film for the New York Film Academy, is casting actors for a shoot that will pay $350/day. Based on the story by Tawfik Alhakim, the project will follow Khaled, “who’s at the end of his existential crisis.” Production is slated for Aug. 27 and Aug. 29–31 in Malibu, California. “Give Me Liberty”A male actor is needed for the leading role and a female actor is needed for a supporting role in “Give Me Liberty,” an “irreverent raw film about the comedy and heartbreak of being an immigrant in a struggling American city.” There will be an open casting call in Brooklyn, New York on Aug. 20, with production set for September–November in Milwaukee, »

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7 Modeling Agencies in L.A. You Should Have On Your Radar

18 August 2017 1:00 PM, PDT

In the shadow of its appeal to actors, many often overlook Los Angeles’ as-bountiful modeling opportunities. But make no mistake, this city is home to several of the top modeling agencies in the country, as well as many intended to nurture newer or undiscovered talent. Here are seven of the L.A. modeling outposts you should have on your radar. Wilhelmina ModelsWhere: Beverly HillsWhat: Founded in 1967 by the Dutch supermodel Wilhelmina Cooper, Wilhelmina Models is regarded by many as the top tier modeling agency in the world, representing talent of all ages, types, and sizes. In addition to its L.A. branch, Wilhelmina also has locations in New York and Miami, as well as established relationships with hundreds of local management firms throughout the country.    Sirena ModelsWhere: Studio CityWhat: A newer agency, Sirena has been representing L.A. talent for more than nine years and now boasts a roster of nearly 200 models. »

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Jessica Chastain Is the Infamous Poker Princess in ‘Molly’s Game’ Trailer

18 August 2017 12:30 PM, PDT

In the first arresting trailer for “Molly’s Game,” the feature marking the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, Jessica Chastain portrays the real-life Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier-turned-poker ring operator. Read: Jessica Chastain Works Harder Than You Chastain leads a stacked cast that includes Michael Cera, Kevin Costner, Chris O’Dowd, and Idris Elba, playing her attorney. In addition to directing, Sorkin penned the script, adapted from Bloom’s novel of the same name.  “Molly’s Game” is due out Nov. 22, via distributor Stx Entertainment.  Looking to get cast? Check out Backstage's audition listings! »

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Now Casting: Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Needs Punks + 3 More Gigs

18 August 2017 11:30 AM, PDT

Gotham may be in need of a hero, but today, it’s seeking a few less-than-heroic types. Fox’s “Gotham” is currently casting actors to play “punk, low-life…and biker types” in the upcoming season. If you’re looking for a new direction, become a member of the Blue Man Group in Boston/Las Vegas/Orlando/Chicago productions, join the holiday stage show “Cirque Dreams Holidaze,” or take a supporting role in an upcoming horror-thriller feature film!  Fox’S “Gotham” Join Fox’s hit series “Gotham” in a background role this summer. Male and female talent aged 18 and older are needed to portray “punk, low-life, character face, and biker types.” Actors must have valid, unexpired U.S.-issued ID to work. The production will shoot Aug. 18, 21, and 29 in the NYC area. Some pay will be provided. Apply here! “Judgement” The upcoming horror-thriller feature film “Judgment” is seeking actors for several roles. »

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Live Action ‘The Jetsons’ in the Works at ABC + More New Projects

18 August 2017 11:00 AM, PDT

With dozens of castings announced and new projects coming down the pipeline each week across television, film, and theater, it can be near-impossible to keep up. Luckily, Backstage is here to help. Every Friday, we’re rounding up the week's industry news you shouldn’t miss so you can be sure you're firmly in the know! “The Jetsons” will get the live action treatment.In keeping with both the live action and revival trends, ABC is currently at work on a live action adaptation of the hit animated series, “The Jetsons.” The comedy, which follows a family living 100 years in the future, will be a multi-camera sitcom and will be written by “Family Guy” talent Gary Janetti. Connie Britton sets small screen return.After exiting the ABC-turned-cmt drama “Nashville,” television stalwart Britton has lined up her next onscreen gig. The Emmy-nominated actor has booked a recurring gig on “Smilf,” a new comedy debuting on Showtime. »

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#ICastIt Producer Andrea Massaro on Staying Sane

18 August 2017 10:56 AM, PDT

As a second-year Mfa student in the UCLA Producers Program, Andrea Massaro has cast many projects, “ranging from sections of features to shorts to music videos––which have all ended up on Backstage in some way or another.” For her part of the Student Emmy-nominated series “Sanity,” Massaro needed to find large numbers of actors to portray college students. “Sanity” was produced through a class which combines directors, writers, cinematographers, producers, actors, production designers, costume designers and more from both the graduate and undergraduate programs. The class produced three episodes of the series; Massaro’s episode was the second one. The series takes a look at mental health issues within the college setting, which Massaro appreciated. “I find that mental health tends to be a ‘taboo’ topic on college campuses, so anything to create a positive dialogue about it is something that I can get behind,” she says. Most of »

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U.K. Now Casting: Supporting Roles in Upcoming Felipe Torres Urso Teen Comedy + More

18 August 2017 10:30 AM, PDT

When in Rome, you join a teen comedy, apparently! In today’s roundup, there are multiple supporting roles available in an upcoming Felipe Torres Urso film that will shoot in Italy and the U.K. There are also several background opportunities available in web informational videos promoting diversity, as well as a music feature film and a sci-fi film. Felipe Torres Urso Micro Budget Teen Comedy Feature This currently-untitled teen comedy will be shot like a 1960s Italian film. Male and female talent aged 16–24 are sought for supporting roles in the production. Shooting will take place in Italy and the U.K. from Aug. 29–Sept. 30, with rehearsals scheduled shortly before. Roles correspond to specific shoot dates and locations. Pay is $1,000–$1,500 depending on the role. Apply here!  Music Feature Film An upcoming music festival film is seeking music fans for background roles. Male and female union talent aged 18 and older is »

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Broadway Casting Directors to March on Producers’ Office and Demand Union

18 August 2017 10:12 AM, PDT

The dispute between Broadway’s casting directors and the Broadway League continues. Amidst ongoing efforts by Broadway’s roughly 40 casting directors to unionize, a rally will be held in the heart of New York City’s Theater District on Aug. 21. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the historic Shubert Alley, casting directors, many of their allies, as well as Teamsters Local 817, will march to the offices of the Broadway League, to demand a union contract that would grant them healthcare and retirement benefits, which their employers do not contribute to as of now. The march, at which casting directors of hits including “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen” are expected, will be the latest development in the disagreements between casting and the Broadway League, following the former’s rally held outside of Radio City Music Hall during Tony Awards rehearsal back in June. Casting is the only major entity of the »

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‘In the Envelope’ Podcast Episode 12: Judith Light & Kathryn Hahn

18 August 2017 9:30 AM, PDT

“In the Envelope: An Awards Podcast” features interviews with award-winning actors and other creatives. Join host and Awards Editor Jack Smart for a front row seat to the industry’s biggest awards races! Brought to you by HBO. In this extra-special, extra-long episode, we are joined by two Emmy-nominated stars from Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking Amazon comedy “Transparent.” Judith Light, a Tony- and Daytime Emmy-winning legend who keeps breaking our hearts as Shelly Pfefferman, has been recognized for the second time in a row by the Television Academy for “Transparent.” Season 3 ended with her character giving a rousing rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket,” a scene that epitomizes the intimacy and poignancy of the series. Light tells Backstage about drawing lifelong inspiration from the Lgbtq community, working with Jeffrey Tambor and the rest of her on- and off-screen Pfefferman family, auditioning as your best self, and seeing »

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8 Famous Actors Who Learned New Skills for Films

18 August 2017 9:00 AM, PDT

Every once in a while, a role comes around that demands just a little bit more from you. Of course you need to learn your lines, get to know your character fully, and get to the emotional truth in each scene, but sometimes you’re ask to perform a skill you just don’t possess. But as a true artist, you have the ability to fully become your character—even if that character is fantastic at double back handsprings and cartwheels. Here are eight famous actors who trained hard and took up new skills to embody their characters. Natalie Portman learned ballet for “Black Swan.”For her role as ballet dancer Nina Sayers in the 2010 dramatic thriller “Black Swan,” Portman trained for at least five hours a day while she continued on with her career and filmed other projects. Though she had a stunt double and had some previous dance training, »

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‘Great Comet’ Cast Performs Original Songs + More NYC Events 8/18–8/24

18 August 2017 8:30 AM, PDT

New York is the city that never sleeps and with so many events and activities each week across all five boroughs, it can be hard to know what’s actually worthwhile. Here are the events New York City actors should have on their radars this week. “Great Comet” stars branch out. In an Aug. 21 concert at the Greenwich Village nightclub Le Poisson Rouge, triple threats from Broadway’s closing-soon “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” will perform their original compositions. Accompanied by professional musicians The Songwriter’s Orchestra, the lineup includes Brittain Ashford, Grace McLean, Gelsey Bell, Heath Saunders, and more. (Tickets: $15–$25) Chappelle is back and he’s bringing friends.Dave Chappelle is notoriously elusive, but the megastar comedian is in the midst of a 14-show stint at Radio City Music Hall through Aug. 24, and he’s bringing pals. Each show will feature a special guest including Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, »

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NYC What’s Casting: ‘Hairspray’ Will Hold Equity Chorus Calls + By-Appointment Auditions in NYC

18 August 2017 8:00 AM, PDT

Good morning, Baltimore! An upcoming production of “Hairspray,” the Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman musical, will run for a limited engagement in Jupiter, Florida, but you can audition right in New York City. With Bob Cline at the casting helm, the team will hold Equity Chorus Calls on Sept. 5 at Pearl Studios in Midtown, on the search for “teenage looking dancers-singers to play ensemble parts throughout the show.”   All auditioners should be prepared to dance first in either jazz shoes or sneakers, as well as sing a selection that’s in the style of the show (songs from the show are also welcome). Talent should also bring a picture and résumé.   Watch: Have a Motown-Era Audition Coming Up? Here’s What You Need to Know By-appointment auditions will be held concurrently for several principal roles including Link Larkin, Amber Von Tussel, and the lead Tracy Turnblad, a role that won »

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Watch: Kidman + Farrell Star in Grotesque ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’

18 August 2017 7:30 AM, PDT

Nicole Kidman’s fiery streak of 2017 screen acting dominance continues. She, along with Colin Farrell, leads “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” a horrific feature helmed by “The Lobster” director and visionary Yorgos Lanthimos. With distribution by A24, the nightmare-inducer will hit theaters with an awards-primed release of Oct. 27. Check out the new trailer now:  Get in on the action! Check out Backstage's film audition listings! »

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Now Casting: Netflix’s ‘Nappily Ever After’ Needs Background Actors + 3 More Gigs

17 August 2017 11:30 AM, PDT

Rest up and get ready to take on the opportunities in today’s casting roundup! “Nappily Ever After,” an upcoming Netflix film, is seeking good-looking people for background roles, and a NJ production of “Beauty and the Beast” needs its Belle, Beast, and more. There are also roles available in a web series and a fun shoot for Glamour! “Nappily Ever After”The upcoming Netflix film “Nappily Ever After” is seeking actors for background roles. The film will tell the story of Violet Jones, who is living a seemingly flawless life until an accident at the hairdresser causes her life to unravel. A slender female actor ages 18–25 with long hair and full lips and attractive, in-shape male actors ages 21–25 are needed for the roles. “Nappily Ever After” will shoot this Aug. in Atlanta, Ga. Some pay will be provided. Apply here!  “Beauty And The Beast”An upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast »

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Texas Now Casting: Be Part of a Mutant Mob in ‘BluStella’ + More Gigs

17 August 2017 10:30 AM, PDT

Background casting is currently underway for “BluStella,” a sci-fi film shooting in Texas this fall!  “BluStella” follows the story of a 13-year-old deaf girl who begins to experience violent seizures that allow her to “speak with the angels.” Her mother fights to find the cause of the attacks “before the ominous Blue Orb in the sky engulfs life as we know it.”  Male and female talent aged 18 and older are sought to portray members of a “mutant mob.”   The production will shoot Oct. 23–27 in Lockhart, Texas. Some pay will be provided.  Join the mob and apply at Backstage here! Check out Backstage’s Texas audition listings! »

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Kids Now Casting: Tell the Story in ‘Once on This Island Jr.’

17 August 2017 10:00 AM, PDT

As Ahrens and Flaherty's “Once on This Island” readies itself for its Broadway return, get the opportunity to act in the junior version of the show in Chicago!  “Once on This Island Jr.” is currently seeking young male and female talent aged 13–18 to play supporting roles in the musical late this year. Actors must be Chicago, Illinois residents and high school students in fall 2017.  There are auditions by appointment several on dates between Aug. 29 and Sept. 12 in the Windy City. Rehearsals will begin Sept. 26, and the show runs Dec. 8–16. A stipend of $325 will be provided.  As the show says itself, come tell the story by applying directly at Backstage here! Want more casting notices for kids? Check out Backstage’s kids auditions! »

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Bruce Springsteen Sets Broadway Dates + More New York Theater News

17 August 2017 9:30 AM, PDT

On Broadway and beyond, a curtain can rise as quickly as it can fall; a star can be swapped as easily as Bernie Telsey can say, “That’s enough.” Theater is the beating heart of New York show business and if you want to make it here, it’s crucial you’re up to date on incoming projects, the latest castings, and other industry news. Don’t worry, Broadway baby, Backstage has your back. Every week, we’re rounding up the can’t-miss stories no thespian should live without so you can focus on important matters, like hitting your high F. Curtain up and light those lights!   The Boss will rock the Broadway.It’s true: after speculation, it’s now confirmed that Bruce Springsteen will be making his Broadway debut this fall at the Walter Kerr Theatre. The one man show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” will have its first preview on Oct. »

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Prep for Pilot Season With a Pro + More L.A. Actor Events This Week

17 August 2017 8:30 AM, PDT

The end of summer will be upon us before you know it, so now’s a great time to reevaluate the goals you set for the season! If you’re not quite as far down your to-do list as you’d like to be, don’t worry: You still have a bit more time to work on your projects. This week’s activities might just help you check a few more boxes, like learning the ins and outs of comedy, brushing up on your audition skills, or just taking that one bomb summer selfie. Honor a comic-book legend.These days, true entertainment groundbreakers are precious and Stan Lee, the man behind Spider-Man, is a beacon of originality and creativity. Celebrate his decades creating for cinema and comics at “Extraordinary Stan Lee,” hosted by Chris Hardwick at the Saban Theatre on August 22. Glean insight into how he carved out a niche »

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Emily Blunt + John Krasinski Vehicle ‘A Quiet Place’ Shooting in N.Y. This Fall

17 August 2017 8:00 AM, PDT

Talk about a power couple. Husband and wife duo Emily Blunt and John Krasinski will team up onscreen for the first time in the feature film, “A Quiet Place.” But the collaboration is not just one in front of the camera. In addition to starring, Krasinski will also write and direct the horror-suspense film. Though “The Office” alum has directed two films previously, “A Quiet Place,” from Paramount/Platinum Dunes, will mark his first directorial gig with a major studio. Details about the project’s plot are scant so far, however, we do know production is slated to begin this September in upstate New York. We also know that Blunt and Krasinski will play parents, while “Suburbicon” actor Noah Jupe has signed on for the role of their son. Laura Rosenthal and Maribeth Fox are splitting duties as casting directors. Krasinski will executive produce along with Allyson Seeger and Scott Beck & Bryan Woods. »

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6 of the Year’s Best (Emmy-Worthy) TV Moments

17 August 2017 6:30 AM, PDT

There’s a lot that goes into the construction of scripted television. Writing that’s full of compelling specificity, acting that exposes something truthful and human, and directing that dictates a story’s tone and plotting all must combine to create a spectacular cinematic moment. Great dramas and comedies—and there are plenty of them in this era of Peak TV—are chock-full of such moments, which taken together endear us, as audiences hungry for stories, to shows that become our favorites. We at Backstage often struggle to whittle down our favorite series, and that’s why it’s sometimes easier to pinpoint a specific snapshot or beat or piece of dialogue that speaks to us individually. In the midst of an especially competitive Emmy season, we’ve selected the most impressive scenes from some of this year’s nominated shows. If you’ve ever wondered what makes great, Emmy-worthy TV, »

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