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Casting Hothouse NZ

Equity is giving you the chance to work with leading US, Australian and NZ casting directors on the skills you need for successful castings and auditions.

November 20, 21, 22, 2012
The Q Theatre, Auckland
305 Queen St, Auckland 

Matt Skrobalak, CBS Paramount (The Good Wife, NCIS)
Margery Simkin, US-based casting director (Avatar, Marley & Me, Hope Springs)
Nikki Barrett, Nikki Barrett Casting (Great Gatsby, The Railway Man, The Sapphires)
Mike Dwyer, Barefoot Casting (A Song of Good, The Devil’s Rock)

Proudly supported

THE CASTING HOTHOUSE

In 2012 NZ Actors Equity will hold an innovative skills-based casting workshop which will focus on improving employment outcomes for New Zealand (NZ) performers in the NZ and international marketplace.

The Casting Hothouse will take place on Tuesday November 20, Wednesday November 21 and Thursday November 22, 2012 at the Q Theatre in Auckland.

The aim is to make NZ actors more competitive when they audition and screentest.

As our market grows and becomes even more international there will be further opportunities for NZ actors. They need to be competitive and have the skills to take advantage of these opportunities. 

At the moment, the requirements to succeed in the international casting environment are quite different to the local casting environment.  When a performer goes overseas and goes for castings, it is a very different experience.  They are not confronted with just one audition a day – they may have five.  And they have to be prepared for the competitive and business like atmosphere.

The Casting Hothouse is not designed to assist NZ actors to leave NZ permanently.  Rather it is an opportunity to equip NZ actors with the tools to work overseas as well as NZ and to show overseas companies that NZ has a professional talent pool. It will assist NZ performers to maintain a long lasting career. 

HOW IT WILL WORK

Two US casting directors, Matt Skrobalak, vice president, casting, CBS-Paramount TV, Margery Simkin, US feature film casting director and Australian casting director, Nikki Barrett will join NZ casting director, Mike Dwyer from Barefoot Casting to host the workshops.  They will issue scripts, film mock auditions, look at camera and reading techniques, provide feedback and give the participants the skills to handle the pressure and get them through the whole experience unscarred.

Four groups of 10 performers will work over a two and a half day period. The first afternoon will be spent taking US accent refresher classes. The following two days will be spent in smaller groups dividing the time between four different modules (cold reading/prepared readings etc) with the different casting directors.  All the delegates will meet regularly for follow up discussion and question time.  Scenes will be sent to you to learn.

The intensity and length of the classes will ensure that the training and skills development is hard wired into them and their audition and casting skills become instinctive.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

There are only 40 places available.  It will be open to both members and non-members of Actors Equity.  The screening process will be rigorous with applications selected by a panel of experienced industry practitioners.  

This is a big investment from Equity with major support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Showcast so only participants who are able to fully commit to the two and a half days should apply. The agenda of the two and a half days has been carefully designed to ensure 40 members get maximum exposure to all opportunities so attending for only part of the time is not possible.  

Applications close Thursday, October 25.

To apply visit:  http://www.equityfoundation.org.au/forms/casting-hothouse-new-zealand.html

Please note: When you apply you will need to submit your bio and photo as one pdf document. If you are a member of Showcast please upload your Showcast bio and photo as one pdf document.  If you are not a member of Showcast then please upload a biography including headshot in one complete document – in pdf format-maximum two pages please. The bios/photos need to be formatted for easy viewing by each of the casting directors in order to allocate specific scenes.  You can join Showcast here www.showcast.co.nz/showcast/registration/signup

COST

Through its support of the Casting Hothouse, Actors Equity covers the costs for its financial members and Nga Aho Whakaari members as a benefit of membership.  The cost for non-members is $500.  You will be required to make this payment only if your application is successful.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it open to non-members?
Yes, it is open to all NZ actors.

Is it open to NZ actors outside of Auckland?
Yes – this is a national initiative so members from all over NZ are encouraged to submit an
application.

What is the selection process?
An application with a biography including headshot in one complete document – in pdf format needs to be supplied. A panel of independent industry practitioners will make the selection and all applicants will be informed if they have been successful or not. 

Does it cost anything?
Through its support of the Casting Hothouse, Actors Equity covers the costs for its financial members and Nga Aho Whakaari members as a benefit of membership.  The cost for non-members is $500.  You will be required to make this payment only if your application is successful.

Do I need to prepare anything?
You will be using a US accent in at least two of the workshops so you might want to practice your US accent. Also – you will be sent a few scenes a week in advance to learn and prepare.  You will be given the opportunity to practice your US accent at the three hour afternoon class on Tuesday 20 November 2012.

Will I be filmed?
Yes you will be filmed in at least two of the workshops and the casting director will keep these for their reference.   Unfortunately we aren’t in a position to offer anyone copies of their filmed scenes.  

Do I have to stay for the whole Hothouse?
Yes you do. This is a big investment from Equity with major support from the New Zealand Film Commission and Showcast so only participants who are able to fully commit to the two and a half days should apply. The agenda of the two and a half days has been carefully designed to ensure the 40 participants get maximum exposure to all opportunities so attending for only part of the time is not possible.  

Will lunch and afternoon tea be provided?
Lunch will not be provided but fruit and juice will be available. There will be networking opportunities at drinks on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

EQUITY MEMBER?: Please supply your Equity membership number: Please Note: You must be a financial member of Actors Equity to attend this workshop free of charge. If your membership is in arrears please contact our Membership Centre via email members@actorsequity.org.nz. If you select to make your payment method direct debit we will waive any outstanding fees!

NOT AN EQUTY MEMBER?:
Please Note: Non-members who gain a place in the Casting Hothouse will be required to pay the $500 fee when invoiced by our membership centre. Please contact our Membership Centre via email members@actorsequity.org.nz as it may be more beneficial to become a member. 

BIO AND RECENT PHOTO:
Submit your bio and photo as one pdf document. If you are a member of Showcast please upload your Showcast bio and photo as one pdf document.  If you are not a member of Showcast then please upload a biography including headshot in one complete document – in pdf format-maximum two pages please. The bios/photos need to be formatted for easy viewing by each of the casting directors in order to allocate specific scenes.   You can join Showcast by clicking on http://www.showcast.com.au/showcast/registration/signup

ACCOMMODATION:
The Scenic Hotel in Auckland is situated right across the road from the Q Theatre.  They are offering attendees of the Hothouse a special discount rate for our Double or Twin share rooms at $130 incl GST per night. If you wish to make a booking you can contact Maria Nastina at Reservations at auckland@scenichotels.co.nz and mention "NZ Equity".

Please Note: Our limited resources are being directed into ensuring you have the best possible professional program.  This means that we are unable to assist with travel or accommodation costs so all delegates will need to find their own way to Auckland and organise their own accommodation. Venue restrictions also prevent us providing lunch so delegates will need to be able to provide their own.  There will be networking opportunities at the drinks on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The deadline for this application is close of business Thursday October 25, 2012

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