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Acting 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Business

Are you thinking of becoming a professional actor or you've begun but are hitting road blocks such as finding an agent or booking auditions? This workshop will cover the key elements to building a successful career—from getting new headshots to getting training to building a résumé to promoting yourself to meeting casting directors and being called for auditions.

Participants will be given a step-by-step booklet highlighting all the key points raised in the workshop and will include examples and room for notes. Moderated by Back Stage Columnist Jackie Apodaca.

Speakers include:

* Phil Brock, Acting Coach, Teacher
* Chris Game, Casting Director, Theater Director, Teacher, Actor
* Peter Kluge, Manager, Actor
* Kevin E. West, Actor and Founder, The Actors' Network


Phil Brock, Acting Coach, Teacher

A proud member of three acting guilds and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Phil Brock sees the entertainment world from the actor's side. His background as a coach and teacher makes him a strong motivator.

Early on, friends convinced Phil that he could turn his great stage presence and public speaking skills into a career as an actor. After rigorous training, he succeeded in building an impressive résumé of appearances in film, television, and theater.

On February 1, 1995, Phil opened his own talent management firm, the Studio Talent Group, determined to succeed. Many years later, Phil has more than succeeded. Recently, STG was voted one of the top five management firms in the country.

At the Studio Talent Group, a John Wooden Pyramid poster hangs in the front office for all to contemplate. Phil believes that the best way to meet the demands of the unpredictable entertainment industry is to follow Coach Wooden's advice: Be certain at the end of each day that you did everything that you could to achieve your best.

Phil received his B.A. in history/kinesiology from UCLA, and his M.Ed. and teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University. He became a teacher of history, English, and psychology and coach of baseball and football in inner-city Los Angeles high schools. Later Phil was CEO at a retail chain of contemporary design and jewelry stores.

Chris Game, Casting Director, Theater Director, Teacher, Actor
Chris Game is a Los Angeles–based casting director, actor, and theater director. Film credits include "The Good Humor Man," featuring Kelsey Grammer, Jason Segel, and Jorge Garcia; and "The Uninvited," featuring Colin Hay. Working in commercials for over 12 years, recent spots include Harley Davidson, Swiffer (all of the "Baby Come Back" and "Girl, Don't You Want Me?" spots), Shell, Burger King ("The Kicking Chicken"), Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Wells Fargo, Beck's, Lego, Oscar Mayer, Kellogg's, PlayStation, Pepsi, Taco Bell, Sears, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, and many more.

As a theater director for 13 years with the Elephant Theatre Company, productions include "One Fell Swoop" by Robert Litz (critical acclaim in LA Weekly, L.A. Times, and Back Stage); "Serenading Louie" by Lanford Wilson; "Hotline" by Elaine May; "Red Cross" by Sam Shepard (Critic's Pick, Back Stage); "365 Days/Plays" by Suzan-Lori Parks; "Halfway There" by Christopher Game and Michael J. Vaez; "Muppet Maiden" by Alex Hoover; "The Princess and the Peon" by Jimmie Hudson; "My Only Hopeless" "The Gremlin" Jerry Tylor's "Little Wedding" and the following plays by Christopher Durang: "Beyond Therapy," "The Actor's Nightmare," "Desire, Desire, Desire," and "1-900-Desperate." With the Living Edge Theatre Company, he directed his play "It's a Shame About Ray."

As an actor, theater credits include "Search and Destroy" by Howard Korder; "Serenading Louie" by Lanford Wilson; "Never Tell" "Seven Redneck Cheerleaders" "Dear Boys' War" and "The World of Mirth." Chris has also done theatrical sound design for over 50 productions in Los Angeles over the last decade. Chris is currently teaching at the Elephant Training Lab, Act Now!, the Elizabeth Mestnik Acting Studio, and Carolyne Berry Commercial Workshops.

Peter Kluge, Manager, Actor
Peter Kluge has been a professional actor for more than 25 years, earning his degree at Wittenberg and Fordham universities. His first starring role came in 1984, when he created the part of Paul Tucker in the award-winning after-school-special "The Day The Senior Class Got Married" (CBS), which led to numerous appearances in television, film, and Off-Broadway. He also produced and starred in the Los Angeles premiere of "Lloyd's Prayer" and has acted, modeled, and voiced more than 100 national commercial and print campaigns.

In 1991, Kluge took a brief hiatus to pursue a master's degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. A few credits shy of graduating, he returned to Hollywood and founded GKS Entertainment LLC, a mastering and recording facility, responsible for duplicating nearly 60 percent of all advances for the Los Angeles recording industry.

As a natural progression from his interests and business acumen, Kluge started managing talent and co-founded Intrigue Entertainment, where he was responsible for signing and developing new artists, including Victor Webster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. In April 2001 he left Intrigue to start the independent management and production firm Impact Artists Group LLC, where he currently serves as CEO.

When asked about his company, Kluge said, "My vision encapsulates a management philosophy lost in recent years. It's not just about signing this generation's star talent; it's about keeping clients in an environment that nurtures personal growth and responsibility. We look for 'talent,' not just the next erratic, undisciplined 'celebrity.' We are a family—in it for the long haul."

Kevin E. West, Actor and Founder, The Actors' Network
Kevin is founder of the Actors' Network, the most recognized business organization for actors in the United States. In 2006 and 2007, the Actors' Network won Back Stage "Reader's Choice" awards. The organization has also been featured multiple times on Entertainment Tonight and CNBC. Its many successful alumni include Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Masi Oka ("Heroes"), Christopher Gorham of the Golden Globe–winning cast of "Ugly Betty," and Maggie Grace ("Taken").

As an actor, Kevin E. West's career spans nearly two decades. On television he has guest-starred on "Leverage," "Lost," "24," "CSI," "Desperate Housewives," "NCIS," "Alias," "Judging Amy," "NYPD Blue," "The X-Files," "Melrose Place," "The Young and the Restless," "The Bold and the Beautiful," and "General Hospital." He also worked for two years as a standup comedian and a paid improv artist.

Kevin co-authored the CD "The Actor's Guide to Getting the Job" with L.A.'s top commercial instructor, Carolyne Barry. On the topic of business education for the performer, he has spoken at SAG, UCLA, SAG Conservatory, Chapman University, and talent conventions across the U.S. from Dallas to Florida. He has lent his talents as writer, producer, host, and director to numerous charitable events, along with founding the highly regarded celebrity golf event, Hack n' Smack for Melanoma. For more information, visit www.kevinewest.com.

Jackie Apodaca, Actor, Acting Teacher, Back Stage Columnist

Jackie received her BFA in acting at the University of California at Santa Barbara, with high honors and distinction in the major and an MFA in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory.

She has worked in theater for over 20 years, with companies such as the Roundabout Theatre Company, the Denver Center Theatre Company, Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa, Venice Theatre Works, and the Elephant Theatre Company, which produced her first play, "My Only Hopeless."

Jackie is the producing director of critically acclaimed Shakespeare Santa Barbara, where she has directed "The Taming of the Shrew" and played Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Viola in "Twelfth Night," Mistress Page in "The Merry Wives of Windsor," and Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing." She is also a resident artist at the Uprising Theatre Company, where she directed "How Our In-Laws Ruined Our Wedding."

Jackie spent several years as the head of production for Modern Media, a Los Angeles–based commercial production company. She has produced several indie films and appeared in numerous commercials.

Currently, she teaches acting, directing, and production at U.C. Santa Barbara. She is a senior columnist for Back Stage, for which she has been writing The Working Actor, the paper's signature advice column, since 2003. Jackie also runs Back Stage's free actors' information series, The Successful Actor, now in its second year.

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