What the Industry Has to Say About Back Stage Turning 50

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"Back Stage was my bible during my acting days from 1960 to 1970. It has been my studio's bible since the inception of the T. Schreiber Studio in 1969. Between our weekly ads and many articles over the years, we wouldn't be where we are today without you. This goes back to 1969, when I had just started teaching but I was a bit financially challenged. I wanted to advertise in Back Stage as 'The Terry Schreiber Studio' but didn't have a lot of money to spend and could only afford a small ad. Charlotte Harmon, who was in charge of advertising then, suggested that with my limited funds she could give me an ad for 'T. Schreiber Studio.' Before that, I had never been called 'T' in my life. But the title has remained the same for these 43 years. Thank you, Back Stage. Have a joyous 50th. You deserve it!" —Terry Schreiber, acting teacher, T. Schreiber Studio and Theatre, New York

"Fifty years ago, publishers saw the need for an informative, reliable, and comprehensive resource for acting professionals. Today, Back Stage magazine has become a staple for the working actor, not only as a news source but as a guide for finding work and sustaining a career. Congratulations on your golden anniversary! On behalf of the 125,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild, thank you for helping actors navigate the ever-changing entertainment industry."—Ken Howard, president, Screen Actors Guild

"The 50th anniversary is as much a tribute to Back Stage as it is to the legacy and vision of its co-founders, Ira Eaker and Allen Zwerdling. Realizing in 1961 there was a need to fill a void in the actors' marketplace, Back Stage was created. For the past five decades, Back Stage's impact on the entertainment industry has been invaluable [as it has] assisted actors in furthering their careers by offering them access to a clearinghouse of show business information on both craft and commerce. Back Stage's longevity is a testament to its ability to evolve and stay current in both its content and its online delivery in an ever-changing theatrical and commercial workplace. Here's to the next 50 years!"—Michael Katz, Michael Katz Talent Management, New York

"As a member of three performer unions—AFTRA, Equity, and Screen Actors Guild—throughout my career, Back Stage has been an important resource for the news and information I need as a working professional actor. As AFTRA's national president, I have enjoyed working with Back Stage to share AFTRA's story with its readers. I am very pleased to congratulate Back Stage on its 50th anniversary, and I applaud you on 50 years of outstanding service to the acting community."—Roberta Reardon, president, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

"I first picked up Back Stage in (eeeeek!) 1993. Back Stage helped me get one of my first professional acting jobs. I remember the magazine coming out every Thursday, and I would be at my favorite New York newsstand first thing in the morning to get my copy. I'd come home and circle every possible casting I thought I was right for—even many I wasn't—just for the opportunity to be seen. I had no agent or manager at the time, and my only way to get seen and get work was through the casting postings in Back Stage. There were always so many open calls for Broadway shows and regional theaters, and I'd get up at the crack of dawn to be one of the first people in line to be seen. If you waited to get there by, like, even 7 a.m., the line of actors generally stretched out the building and around the block. You'd be lucky if you got a time slot to audition. Getting an Equity time slot was like being in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory ('I've got the golden ticket!'). I remember seeing a casting for 'The Tempest,' being done at North Shore Music Theatre. I got a time slot, auditioned, and got cast. I should have commissioned Back Stage. For a long time, that magazine was the only way I got work. Thank you, Back Stage."—Anthony Meindl, acting teacher and director, Los Angeles

"Back Stage has been a key part of the savvy actor's research and preparation for the past half-century. I well remember getting up extra early on Thursday mornings almost 40 years ago to be among the first to scour Back Stage for the audition notices. When I talk to young actors about the 'business of the business,' I always stress the necessity of regularly reading Back Stage."—Nick Wyman, president, Actors' Equity Association

"When I first came to New York years ago, I heard that Back Stage was the actor's bible. I was told that you had to get it every week to find out what was casting, what was going on in the theater community, etc. It was the lifeline, the connecting link, everything the actor needed to know. Every Thursday, I'd be up early and run out to the newspaper stand to get my weekly copy. The interview articles with actors who'd 'made it' and invaluable advice from casting directors and agents filled me with hope, possibility, and basic know-how. Over the years, Back Stage became my weekly Thursday breakfast friend. I'd read it, check the castings I was right for, and plan my week by it. Today, in this age of everything online, I still live by it. Yes, I know a lot of the information is online, but maybe because I'm a writer, I love the visceral feeling of turning paper pages. I like holding a newspaper in my hand. Today, the articles may be a bit more sophisticated, the stars interviewed may be more famous, but it's the tradition of the paper that draws me to the newsstand. Back Stage had matured with the times. Now, because I'm an acting coach, I look to see what is required (monologues, cold readings, etc.) at the different auditions. As a playwright, I look to see which of my friends has something in production. And as a teacher, I enjoy the interviews with agents and acting teachers for their insights and viewpoints. Sometimes their advice becomes my advice. It's still the same paper, yes, but better."—Glenn Alterman, acting coach, book writer, and playwright, Glenn Alterman Studio, New York

"Back Stage has helped me—and my business—by being both the go-to source and resource for actors who understand that a career in the business of acting isn't just about performing. The smart actor is a great client, which is why I am so appreciative of Back Stage and the team that writes and produces it each week. By helping to educate actors (my clients included) and keeping them informed about the business, [Back Stage allows] readers to consistently come away armed with information that helps them be proactive in launching and building their careers all along their journeys. Happy 50th!"—Brad Lemack, talent manager and author ("The Business of Acting: Learn the Skills You Need to Build the Career You Want" and "The New Business of Acting: How to Build a Career in a Changing Landscape"), Los Angeles

"How do you know something is useful? By how long it stays visible in the marketplace. Back Stage has been around for a long time because it is as important to an actor as The Wall Street Journal is to someone investing on Wall Street. Each time a client of mine has appeared in Back Stage (either reviewed or appearing in something like Ask an Actor), it raises their profile. I have been flattered to have been profiled on the Industry Insider page as well as being a contributor to Ask a Manager. Many of my contributions and those of my colleagues have helped answer a young actor's questions before they knew what to ask."—Seth Greenky, Green Key Management, New York

"As a stuntwoman, stunt coordinator, and actress, Back Stage has been invaluable to me. It keeps me in the loop, working, and I always feel connected to the heart of the industry! Thanks, Back Stage, and happy 50th!"—Elle Alexander, vice president, Stuntwomen's Association of Motion Pictures, SAG/AFTRA

"My first job, as an actress on the film 'Armageddon for Andy,' was the result of an ad I saw in Back Stage. On it, I worked with actors who would go on to star on soaps, television, and in films, and we all came together because of Back Stage. I've read it religiously since then, examining it for insights, tips, stories, and of course the [Readers' Choice] L.A. and New York issues. There is no finer magazine out there for actors who want to be in the know!"—Kristen Caldwell, co-owner, The Actor's Key, Los Angeles

"Back Stage celebrates talent and is consistent in achieving honesty in its updated info!"

—Chadwick Struck, casting director, Los Angeles

"I can never say it enough, how important Back Stage is to the acting community, and am forever telling every actor I meet to subscribe. Congratulations on 50 years of excellence! Back Stage is an outstanding resource for the beginner as well as the seasoned pro. Back Stage's reporting on casting information, articles on finding representation, along with other informative stories are extremely beneficial to the acting community. Fifty years of innovative, groundbreaking journalism—Back Stage is my resource to help my clients start and maintain a career in the entertainment business."—Arthur Massei, Massei Management, New York

"I've been reading Back Stage since I became serious about acting about nine years ago. I would always flip right to the back and check out the latest casting calls. I booked my first jobs from those ads. Combine that with all the great articles that I've learned so much from, and you figure I'd probably be nowhere without it! I now get a booth at Actorfest every year for my headshot business. Back Stage has and continues to find great ways to further the career of an actor."—Jeff Ellingson, photographer, Jeff E Photo, Los Angeles

Josselyne Herman

"Back Stage is an essential tool for any New York actor. The invaluable resource that [it] is for information and projects is something I recommend to every client I have."—Josselyne Herman, manager, Josselyne Herman & Associates, and author ("So You Wanna Be a New York Actor?"), New York

"I have been a producer and playwright in Los Angeles for 14 years, with both Neo Ensemble Theatre and the All Roses Company. I have been reading Back Stage as long as I have been in Los Angeles, and have posted audition notices for most of my productions on your pages. As both a playwright and producer,…I appreciate Back Stage reviewing as many plays as they are able. Reviews are invaluable tools for raising audience awareness and promoting the script after a run has closed. Thank you, Back Stage, for fighting the good fight."—Ralph Tropf, producer and playwright ("The Animal Within" opens Nov. 4 at the Elephant Theatre), Los Angeles

"I first opened a copy of Back Stage West in 1985 as a young actress having just moved from New York. It was at that time the major source of information for actors. It was a necessity. Thank you, Back Stage! Congrats on a great 50 years!"—Warner Loughlin, acting teacher, Warner Loughlin Studios, Los Angeles

"I rely on Back Stage as a resource for finding actors. I have placed casting notices and had wonderful results. I also love having one comprehensive source for reviews."—Doug Haverty, playwright, Los Angeles

"Back Stage has been reviewing shows and going behind the scenes since the Crucifixion but is still as relevant as it always was. We now live in a world where television and cable are being eclipsed by the Internet and where anyone with a cheap camera can make a movie. Network execs will be more likely serving you coffee at Starbucks than reading your script, and A-list actors, judging from this summer's box office, better hope someone brings back 'Hollywood Squares.' More than ever, everyone in the business needs Back Stage as a guide to survive this changing landscape."—Barney Oldfield, Barney Oldfield Management, New York

"I have been reading Back Stage since 1971, when I was a fledgling singer and nonunion actress after studying with the renowned Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. I have been a member of all the acting unions for 35 years and teaching acting classes for over 15. I encourage my students to subscribe to Back Stage and become acquainted with the castings and articles, since it is still the original, reliable, comprehensive resource for an actor/singer/performer. In 1987, I had the good fortune to receive one of the first Back Stage Bistro Awards, as well as wonderful reviews from John Hoglund and the late Curt Davis and Bob Harrington during my many years singing in cabaret. Thank heavens Back Stage remains an ally and anchor for up-and-coming artists seeking to fulfill their dreams."—Nina Murano, acting teacher, New York

"As a native New Yorker, I've known about Back Stage forever. Back in the 1980s, it was my connection to the world I wanted to be a part of. It was because of Back Stage that I started my theater company in the year 2000. SALAAM Theatre is the first South Asian American multidisciplinary theater company in America."—Geeta Citygirl, founder and artistic director, SALAAM Theatre, New York

"Back Stage has always given vital information for everyone in the business above and below the line. Its longevity is due in large part to its tremendous power of keeping us all in the know in the performing arts. Back Stage was and will always be the ultimate guide to all things theatrical. Back Stage is the staple in your cupboard of dreams. Happy 50th anniversary, Back Stage. Can't have a career without you."—Karen Gunn, manager, Soiree Fair, Montclair, N.J.

Peter Hurley

"I must say that my headshot career started with my ads I ran with you guys. I feel it couldn't be what it is today had I not advertised in Back Stage. I do think that it's an invaluable tool for actors and am so glad that they turned to Back Stage to find headshot photographers. Fifty years is very impressive. Wow! I hope you keep going for another 50!"—Peter Hurley, photographer, Peter Hurley Photography, New York

"I am happy to see Back Stage celebrate such a monumental achievement. I remember, before I became a casting director, that Back Stage was my main resource of auditions and information as a young actor. I am glad to see it is still a great resource. Here's to 50 more!"—Mark Teschner, casting director, "General Hospital"

"Back Stage is a vital resource for actors across the country. In this day and age, information is not only knowledge, it is power, and the ability to navigate your career is enhanced with access to such information. The successful actor has to also understand the business side of the career, and Back Stage does a great job at giving them insights into how a successful actor has built his or her career, intel on how to find a great teacher, what a casting director looks for, and so much more. What I have come to enjoy and appreciate in both the printed and online publications is that Back Stage is giving actors a point of view and offering articles that go beyond what's casting and who's who in the business. It is a neighborhood paper for the community of actors, both working and aspiring to. I vcannot stress enough how important it is to connect to your community and take charge of your career. As both a casting director and the developer of the app Actor Genie, I have come to rely on Back Stage as the pulse of the actor's business. I only hope that, like an actor's performance, the paper will dig deeper and continue to be a major presence in the shrinking world of newspapers."—Heidi Levitt, casting director, Heidi Levitt Casting, Los Angeles

Reported by Jessica Gardner, Simi Horwitz, and Daniel Holloway