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Back Stage Readies for Actorfest

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Actors, singers, dancers, and performers of all sorts will want to circle Sat., Nov. 11 on their calendars. That's the date for Back Stage's annual Actorfest, a full day of seminars, focus sessions, and information on launching and sustaining a career. The event will be held in the heart of Times Square at the New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway (between 45th and 46th streets) from 9 am-5 pm.

There will be three career seminars. "Six in the City" will spotlight TV series shooting in New York. Back Stage "Backlot Buzz" columnist Leslie (Hoban) Blake will moderate with panelists including David Black (producer-writer of the new series "100 Centre Street"), Todd Thaler (casting director of "Ed"), and representatives from at least four of the following filmed-in-Gotham shows: "Law & Order," "The Sopranos;" "Law & Order SVU," "Deadline," "Welcome to New York," and "Oz."

"Actors at Work: Getting and Doing the Job" features a panel of working actors on the business part of show business as well as the craft. Panelists include Actors' Equity President Patrick Quinn (moderator), Drama Desk and Obie-winner Dana Ivey, Christine Toy Johnson, Oni Feida Lampley, Joanne Merlin, and John Shea. These first two panels are produced by Back Stage Editor-in-Chief Sherry Eaker.

The third seminar is "The Dish on Soap: Industry Experts Come Clean." Ross Reports Associate Editor Jessica Daniels produces and moderates this panel on daytime drama, which will be made up of a producer, casting director, and an actor from "As the World Turns," and representatives from other daytime drama with production in New York. As there was at last year's Actorfest, there will be a drawing for two walk-on roles (one each) on "ATWT" and "Guiding Light."

In addition, there will be a total of 28 focus sessions, all produced by Sherry Eaker. These sessions will be for smaller audiences and allow participants more individual attention. Each will focus on a different aspect of the business from independent films to managers to voice-overs to marketing yourself online. These events tend to sell out quickly, especially the ones featuring agents and casting directors.

Also featured is the Exhibit Hall with over 90 booths of industry professionals offering their services. Performers will have a veritable shopping mall of services and information available to them. Representatives from acting schools and coaches, photographers and resumes services, temporary employment agencies, speech and diction coaches, and many others will be present.

A $45 ticket gains you admission to one career seminar, one focus session, and the Exhibit Hall. Tickets to additional seminars and sessions are available on the day of the event only. Tickets for Actorfest can be ordered several easy ways—online at backstage.com, by fax at (646) 654-5744 , in person at our offices at 770 Broadway on the 6th floor, or by calling our hotline at (646) 654-5706.

For more complete information, see the full-page ads on Actorfest in this week's issue.

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