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Filming in New York: Behind the Scenes with the Casting Directors

With so many new TV pilots and independent films being shot in New York this season, how do you become part of the "Lights! Camera! Action!" scene? This all heavy-hitter film and television casting director panel will share their inside knowledge and advice on getting seen and cast. Moderated by Mark Wood. 

Speakers include:

-  Marci Philips, ABC Casting
-  Todd Thaler, casting director, Todd Thaler Casting
-  Nadette Stasa, commercial casting director
-  Jonathan Strauss, casting director, Law & Order


Marci Philips
Marci Philips is the Executive Director of Primetime Casting for ABC Entertainment and is responsible for covering the East Coast talent pool. Along with her associates, Marci casts for all ABC, ABC Studio, ABC Family and ESPN pilots, new series regulars, TV movies and alternative series. Marci previously worked for Steven Bochco Productions and MGM Studios.

She cast the independent film Let It Snow which was featured at Sundance and co-produced the musical comedy Moo! The Twisted Tale of Dinky Farms at MTS. Marci was an active member of the Advisory Board for The Aspen Comedy Festival for nine years. She tied for the Backstage "Best Casting Director in NY" readers poll in 2007 and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Department of Theatre Arts.

Todd Thaler
Todd Thaler's credits as a casting director date back to 1986, but he started in the industry in 1980 as a production assistant for Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe, Woody Allen's personal managers and producers. He was soon given the responsibility of casting extras, which he did on 14 of Allen's films, beginning with The Purple Rose of Cairo.

As a casting director, his recent credits are: Luc Besson's Arthur & The Invisibles trilogy, James Foley's Perfect Stranger and Todd Field's Little Children. Other credits include Joe Roth's Streets of Gold; Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty; Stacy Cochran's My New Gun and Boys; Irwin Winkler's Night and the City; John McNaughton's Mad Dog and Glory; Luc Besson's The Professional; Gavin O'Connor's Tumbleweeds; John Turturro's MAC, Illuminata, and Romance & Cigarettes; James Mangold's Heavy and Copland; Wayne Wang's Because of Winn-Dixie, Maid in Manhattan, and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers; Barbra Streisand's The Mirror Has Two Faces; and Ed Harris' directorial debut Pollock.

He has also cast several movies and series for television, including the NBC comedy Ed, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award. Each spring, he teaches NYU/Tisch School of the Arts undergraduates at the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School.

Nadette Stasa
Nadette Stasa is a freelance casting director who works with New York's top commercial casting offices including Strickman-Ripps Casting, Martine Casting, Toni Roberts Casting, Donald Case Casting, Foreground Inc., and more. She has also run New York sessions (primarily voice casting) for Maura Tighe Casting. Nadette was integral in casting, with Strickman Ripps, the Emmy-nominated anti-smoking commercial "Singing Cowboy" for Truth.

She has over 15 years of experience as a casting director, and over 10 years of experience coaching and teaching commercial acting. In addition to her casting work, Nadette has acted professionally in New York and abroad. A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, she received training from The Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School as well as The Experimental Theatre Wing in New York and Paris.

She is an experienced on-camera commercial and voice-over actor represented by Atlas Talent. She has been seen in network spots for Gas-X, Kleenex and Jenny Craig and currently can be heard as the voice of HBO Family Jam.

Jonathan Strauss
Over the past decade Jonathan has compiled quite an extensive film and television casting resume. Along with being the casting director for the NBC smash hit Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for the past six seasons, Jonathan has cast projects including Wayne Wang's Maid in Manhattan (with Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes) and the hit NBC series Ed, for which he garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Casting of a Comedy Series.

Most recently he cast the features See You in September (Justin Kirk, Estella Warren, Whoopi Goldberg), Stateside (Rachael Leigh Cook, Val Kilmer), and the New York casting for Prayers for Bobby starring Sigourney Weaver and Because of Winn-Dixie (Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson & Eva Marie Saint). Over the years Strauss has collaborated on dozens of projects with various casting directors, including MGM's Wicker Park (Josh Hartnett), Ed Harris' directorial debut Pollock (Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden); Gavin O'Connor's Sundance favorite Tumbleweeds (starring Janet McTeer, winner of the Best Actress Golden Globe for her performance); Luc Besson's Joan of Arc (Milla Jovovich and Dustin Hoffman); and John Turturro's Illuminata (with Christopher Walken and Susan Sarandon).

In 2004 Ross Reports named Jonathan one of Television's Top 20 Casting Directors. Jonathan currently resides in New York City and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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