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See You at the 2nd Annual Actors Pro Expo!

See You at the 2nd Annual Actors Pro Expo!
Photo Source: Lydia Francis

Whether you’re looking to polish your networking skills as an actor, learn some auditioning do’s and don’ts, or meet casting directors, swing by Actors Pro Expo on Saturday, April 18, at NYC’s Radisson Martinique on Broadway. The annual event does a wonderful job of connecting working actors with industry professionals—including Backstage!—there to offer advice and insider information.

The event was co-founded six years ago in the U.K. by Lianne Robertson and Felicity Jackson, who were looking for a way to facilitate relationship-building between actors, casting directors, and agents. “The initial idea was to put together a job fair whereby actors could come pick up advice when they’re between acting roles,” Robertson told Backstage. “But when we started to organize the event it grew quite a few arms and legs, and we decided to cover a much broader range of products for actors.”

Such products now extend to headshots, demo reels, casting services, and even information on taxes. Robertson began bringing in teachers for advice-fueled seminars and workshops to keep the event geared toward “the business side of being an actor as well as the practical side.” When it became clear it was time for them to expand beyond London and Manchester, Robertson decided New York City was the best fit. Changes had to be made to bring the event across the pond—the first being its somewhat tongue-in-cheek name: Surviving Actors. “In meetings in the U.S. it didn’t come across as funny,” said Robertson. “It felt sort of negative. We decided to make it more to the point, so we’re known as Actors Pro Expo.”

Running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this year’s Expo includes a series of industry-oriented classes, tickets for which can be purchased online for $30. Seminars will feature casting directors Michael Cassara, Justin Huff, Adrienne Stern, and Kimberly Graham. Jay Binder will offer a seminar on the changing forms of musical theater from the golden age to the present landscape. On-your-feet workshops include acting songs with David Brunetti, insider secrets with Scott Powers Studio, and dramatic improvisation with Jeff Wirth of Playing with Reality. Stationed at booths will be the likes of SAG-AFTRA, the Broadway Dance Center, and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

“It’s for people who are serious about the commitment to acting,” said Robertson of the event’s attendees. Although there will also be an open casting call for a new Web series project by filmmaker Rob Margolies, Actors Pro Expo is mostly a great opportunity to practice getting one’s name and face out there.

Bring headshots and résumés, Robertson added, and don’t forget business cards. “If you don’t have them, you should definitely get them.” Because the event attracts important industry pros, it’s essential for actors to show up dressed for success. As Robertson said, “You never know who will be there or looking at you. Don’t come along as if you just woke up out of bed.”

For more information and to book tickets, visit actorsproexpo.com.

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