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Letter From the Editor

It's that time of year when we get to pull our sweaters out of storage, leaves start to change colors—or at least fall off a few trees in L.A.—new TV series debut, and television production is back in action.

This week we catch up with the executive producers, showrunners, and casting directors of some of the promising new fall series to find out what types they are looking to cast to play opposite their series regulars as guest stars, one-liner roles, and background. Perhaps it might be a good excuse to follow up with your agent should you think you might be right for a specific show. And do your homework as an actor and watch some of these  new programs so that you can familiarize yourself with the tone, stories, and lead characters.

It's also that time of year that Back Stage presents its annual trade show Actorfest, which takes place Oct. 2 in New York City and Nov. 6 in Los Angeles. Once again, we are pleased to present outstanding programming and speakers.

Among this year's participants at Actorfest NY are casting director Jen Rudin (upcoming "Frankenweenie"), who will participate in the panel discussion Declaring Your Independents: Working in Independent Films, and CDs Mark Saks ("The Good Wife") and Julie Tucker ("Nurse Jackie," "White Collar," "Rescue Me"), who will be speaking on the panel Filming in New York: Getting Cast in Gotham.

Actorfest NY attendees will have to opportunity to get up close and personal at our Meet and Greet sessions with CDs such as Barry Shapiro (commercials including Loreal, ESPN, Advil, Verizon), Tony Pichette (Coke, Capri Sun, Kraft Singles, Nintendo Wii, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut), Jodi Collins ("Strangers With Candy," "The Big Gay Sketch Show"), and Dave Clemmons ("Driving Miss Daisy," "The Boy From Oz" on Broadway).

Our New York trade show will also present Spotlight on Kids: Careers for Children and Teens, featuring tips from casting director Joan Lynn, agent Barbara Coleman of Innovative Artists, and manager David McKeown of Shirley Grant Management.

As for our Los Angeles event a month later, casting directors scheduled to appear include Jason La Padura ("The Event," "Heroes"), John Frank Levey ("Southland," "ER"), Cathy Reinking ("Frasier," "Arrested Development"), Donna Morong ("Gone Baby Gone"), Heidi Levitt ("Nixon," "JFK"), Mark Teschner ("General Hospital"), Marci Liroff ("Mean Girls," "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past"), Matthew Barry ("The Notebook"), Chris Game (commercials, indie film), Sharon Lieblein (VP of talent and casting for Nickelodeon), Michael Donovan (L.A. theater, commercials, indie films), and Casting Society of America president Pam Dixon.

In addition to casting directors speaking, meet and greets with CDs, and open calls, Actorfest LA will offer a wide variety of seminars and panels on such topics as voiceover, demo reels, branding yourself, Meisner, audition technique, improv, commercials, and young performers.

For more information on both of these events, to check for updates to our programming, or to register, visit We look forward to seeing you there—and on the new
fall series.


Jamie Painter Young

National Editor-in-Chief, Back Stage

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