Get to know us!

Help us build the world’s best career platform for performing artists.

About the team.

Founded in 1960 as a weekly trade magazine, Backstage has evolved into a powerful platform supporting the careers of creators and performers all over the world. Meet the team that leads the platform supporting over 100,000 members.

See open positions

Leadership

Joshua Ellstein

Chief Executive Officer

In 2011, Josh partnered with a group of investors to reimagine what a traditional trade publication could one day become. Today he drives long-term strategy and execution across the Backstage technology platform. Prior to backstage, Josh was at the Boston Consulting Group. He is a proud Michigan Wolverine, father, sailor and technologist.

Michael Felman

President

Michael Felman joined Backstage as Chief Financial Officer in 2012, bringing with him 10 years of experience advising media, internet and financial companies on M&A and capital raising. As CFO, Michael is responsible for overseeing all finance and accounting functions, as well as HR and corporate development. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Michael graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Finance and enjoys golf and diet coke.

Michael Madia

Chief Financial Officer

Michael joined Backstage with experience in public accounting and the private sector, both of which were predominantly in the technology industry. He holds a BBA in accounting from Hofstra University and is a licensed CPA in New York State. In addition to leading the accounting & finance functions, he is involved with various aspects of operations. Mike enjoys: espresso, soccer, movies, and exploring the great outdoors.

David Grossman

Chief Marketing Officer

David oversees Backstage’s digital products and strategy -- prior to joining Backstage, David worked as the head of business development at Inc. and Fast Company. In his spare time, David enjoys playing Nintendo with his kids, road cycling, skiing, cooking Chinese food, and being a closet Metalhead.

Kasey Howe

Executive Director, Media

Kasey has always been drawn to sales because it allows her to connect with people and learn about new businesses and products. She loves to travel, swim in the ocean and is addicted to SoulCycle.

James Reynolds

Chief Technology & Product Officer

Prior to backstage James, a Pythonista and Elasticsearch evangelist, was a consultant working on projects from small starts ups to JP Morgan. James likes skiing and craft beer and wishes there was an Olympic sport marrying the two.

Stephanie Snipes

Chief Content Officer

Stephanie leads editorial strategy and content development for Backstage. Stephanie has built nationally recognized award-winning creative teams throughout her career. Her previous experience includes The Oprah Winfrey Show, WebMD and CNN.com. When not binging the latest “must watch”, Stephanie loves to cook, travel, and hang with her nieces and nephew.

Luke Crowe

Vice President, Casting

Since 2000, Luke has worked at Backstage, helping to turn the trusted publication into a modern digital brand featuring a wide variety of innovative casting tools reaching a greatly expanded worldwide audience. Previously, Luke studied filmmaking and worked as a writer, editor, teacher, and digital consultant.

Oscar

Gentle Giant

Oscar is a gentle giant who loves napping, hanging out on the couch, and going to the park with Josh.

Lebron

Garbage Raider

This Lebron will not be taking his talents to South Beach. Instead he takes his talents to the Backstage office. Lebron has a great vertical, loves to eat, curl up next to Gail and rummage thru garbage cans.

The Team

Ian an is an obsessive Liverpool FC fan who’s seen them through the good, bad and then good (again) times. He’s also got two decades worth of experience in design leadership.

Ian Robinson

Design Director

Shishir found his way to Backstage after a decade of entrepreneurial endeavors on both sides of the Atlantic. With a love for film and all things French, in his spare time, he can be found behind the camera telling people what to do or biking across the Riviera.

Shishir Bankapur

Director of Engineering

After attending college in NYC and spending a decade in Los Angeles, Emily again resides in her native state of Georgia. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, and delights in working for a company that supports actors! When she’s not sourcing the next awesome team member for Backstage, she’s walking the Atlanta Beltline, thrifting, or obsessing over UGA football (Go Dawgs!).

Emily Callaway

Director of Recruiting

After spending a decade writing about weddings Jacqueline comes to Backstage with a variety of editorial experience. She's also written for celebrity news outlets throughout her career as she loves staying on top of what’s trending in the TV/film world. Jacqueline now spends most of her time writing and editing Backstage's online content and managing a team of freelance writers.

Jacqueline Tynes

Editor

Jared started his career in public accounting and spent over a year in the sports and entertainment industry before joining Backstage in March 2021. He enjoys watching and playing sports, finding new recipes to cook, and tries to stay up to date on the latest movies and tv shows.

Jared Shaefitz

Assistant Controller

Nikita was born in the lush forests of Moscow and was immediately indoctrinated into worshiping movies by his director father. The passion for digital marketing would arrive later and drive him to California and Delaware, and then into the world of NYC marketing agencies.

Nikita Rubetskoy

User Acquisition Manager

Mike joined Backstage as a Full Stack Engineer. He spends his spare time by a campfire as much as possible but can also be found watching TV or playing video games.

Mike Lewis

Technical Lead - Payments

Jenn grew up on the stage as a classically trained ballerina dabbling in musical theater. Her work experience in the performing arts and love for the folks who make it happen behind the scenes brought her to Backstage, developing the Crew/Staff side of the biz. Can usually be found in a dance or yoga studio or sitting in a theater taking in some sort of storytelling. Like Byron she’s on her third attempt at learning French.

Jenn Zilioli

Business Development Specialist, Crew/Staff

Jeff arrived at Backstage after several years of freelancing and working as an Art Director in the theater industry. When not waist deep in a soup of pixels and CSS, he frequently finds himself on a bike, in the woods, practicing Kung Fu, or sipping an IPA somewhere in Brooklyn.

Jeff Lilley

Director of Product Design

Sonja joins the Backstage team from Canada. She started her career as a voice talent and later joined the voiceover industry helping companies cast the perfect voice for their projects. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S and eating poutine.

Sonja Smith

Business Development & Voiceover Casting

Tom has rejoined Backstage after a few years at Sonicbids and other pursuits. Formerly of Brooklyn, currently out of Boston, Tom spends his time keeping code and servers happy. Motorcycles, photography, radio/electronics tinkering, food, wine and travel keeps him (mostly) sane.

Tom Achtemichuk

Engineering Lead

Based out of Yardley, PA, Mitch joined Backstage in 2014. When not writing code, he can be found running around with his two girls. He is passionate about nutrition, fitness, and enjoys pondering the origin of the universe.

Mitch Matuson

Engineering Manager - Front End

Paul Dorfman is the Global IT and Culture Lead at Backstage. Paul has a background in comedic performing arts and spent over a decade in the New York comedy scene before relocating to Atlanta with his family.

Paul Dorfman

Global IT lead

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Jaryd moved to New York and joined Backstage after founding a startup in the media and entertainment industry. In his spare time, you can find him reading, writing, drawing or watching B-rated horror movies over a pizza pie and cookies.

Jaryd Hermann

Product Manager

Stuart previously worked in the world of finance before starting his own business in the Media and Entertainment industry. Currently in South Africa, he enjoys spending time reading, trying not to break the website and an obsession for bagels.

Stuart Miller

Platform Front End Engineer

Coming from a heavy background in social media and email marketing, Jackie joined Backstage in August 2021 as our Email Marketing Associate. When she's not writing and editing email copy, she's either training for CrossFit competitions, coaching high school cheerleading, or laying by the pool with her nose in a book.

Jackie Cardelli

Email Marketing Associate

Joe joined Backstage as a full stack dev in June 2018. When not building web apps, Joe can be found reading, playing video games, or watching the Rangers attempt to play hockey.

Joseph Zeleny

Technical Lead - Performers

Cassie is the first quality assurance manager to join the Backstage team. She has several years of QA experience between a small startup and a large scale digitial agency. When she's not busy breaking things, she enjoys yoga, good teas, IPAs, netflix binges, and anything German.

Cassie Haffner

QA Manager

Iulia is a Technical Lead at Backstage. She lives in New Jersey and is originally from Ukraine where she got her Master’s in Computer Science. She loves Python, people, and interesting problems to solve. In her spare time she loves playing board games, reading, hiking, and drawing with pastels.

Iulia Buiel

Technical Lead - Integrations

Benjamin Lindsay is Senior Editor at Backstage, where if you’re reading it in our weekly magazine, he’s written or edited it first. He’s also producer and host of our inaugural on-camera interview series, Backstage Live.

Benjamin Lindsay

Managing Editor

Madison was introduced to Backstage after a decade of turning data into knowledge for clients in the tech industry. She holds a MS in Analytics and a BS in Marketing + Advertising. In her spare time she enjoys traveling to escape the cold weather in Syracuse, NY.

Madison Lukaczyk

Senior Business Intelligence Analyst

Before Backstage Briana Rodriguez worked as a mixed-media music and pop culture journalist and documentarian. She’s a tap dancer who loves watching "I Love Lucy" reruns almost as much as she loves guacamole.

Briana Rodriguez

Editor-in-Chief

Casey Mink is the Staff Writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is probably watching it somewhere.

Casey Mink

Senior Staff Writer

Mark produces the magazine, helps promote the podcast and works on other various efforts at Backstage, and generally just tries to be helpful. Can be seen wandering the 5 boroughs and beyond with a backpack full of gym clothes and spiral notebooks.

Mark Stinson

Production Manager / Special Projects

The new kid on the block, Jalen continues his career with the Backstage family as the editorial assistant after starting out as an intern for the team. His passion for journalism is only matched by his love for entertainment.

Jalen Michael

Editorial Assistant

Ryan wears many hats when it comes to marketing, spending most of his time working on acquisition strategies and data analysis. He also wears many hats.

Ryan Remstad

Growth Marketing Director

Changhee tells everyone he meets that he's going to be a famous writer one day, but hasn't written a single word yet. In the time that he's supposed to be working on his book, he pretends to be a wine snob, spends hours gaming, and reads books that remind him he's supposed to be writing.

Changhee Han

Growth Lead

Dan spends most of his time in the Boston area, but has not developed an accent. Prior to Backstage, Dan worked on improving websites at Experian and for clients at a marketing agency. He enjoys physical activity, travel, food, and fantasy football when his team wins.

Dan Spero

Conversion Rate Optimization Manager

Born and raised Jersey Girl, Erica has grown up loving plays. Her love of productions got her out of her shell and onto the stage and kept her singing for most of school. This passion carried over to her design career to be more vocal and lively in her work. She made a fresh start and moved to Brooklyn and found Backstage the Spring of 2020.

Erica Whyte

Junior Marketing Designer

Neely joined Backstage as a Platform Front End Engineer in May 2020. She loves great design, code, and movies. If she’s not developing, she's writing, binge watching shows years after everyone else has watched them, or exploring the Big Apple one comedy show at a time.

Neely Kartha

Platform Front End Engineer

Ry is a big fan of creative marketing and building relationships. When she’s not working on those things at Backstage, she’s putting her NYU Film degree to work, shooting music videos, short films and portrait photography. She also loves craft beer and her rescue pup, Riley.

Ryann Thompson

Partnership Development Director

Caitlin first fell in love with Theater in the 1998 Morehead Elementary School rendition of Annie Jr. where she played the role of Lily St. Regis. She found that remembering entrances and nailing the nasal, northern accent without a dialect coach to be difficult. She retired from acting not long after, and is now a designer, illustrator, and singer-songwriter in Brooklyn, NY.

Caitlin Watkins

Creative Director

Katie is a Swiftie first, human being second, social media expert third. When she’s not tweeting about theater, TV, and film on @Backstage she’s tweeting about it on @KatieMinard. Keep an eye out for her at a Broadway show on any day that ends in “y”.

Katie Minard

Social Media Manager

Sam oversees all sales campaigns and clients to ensure a seamless workflow and client experience. She also works with film studios and TV networks to help them get nominations and win various awards. Being from Long Island she loves the beach, cooking, traveling and buying random things on Amazon.

Samantha Sherlock

Media Operations

Victoria represents Backstage down under. Before joining the Backstage team, she worked as a talent agent and producer. The rest of Victoria's days are filled with food, wine, and Law & Order: SVU.

Victoria Beal

Australian Casting Specialist

Eli grew up in beautiful Traverse City, MI. After graduating (GVSU), he moved to NYC. He worked as a casting assistant on various projects (film/TV/Broadway) before landing at Backstage. He lives with his fianceé and pup (Mabel). He loves (the color) purple and is a fan of the L.A. Lakers and Detroit Lions, and enjoys most 90's jams.

Elijah Cornell

Casting Account Manager

Jill joined Backstage after 6 years of work in unscripted casting and development, where she specialized in tracking down teen moms, top chefs, and treasure hunters. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, baking, Netflix marathons with her husband Morgan, and making up songs for their feline child, Goose. Her go-to karaoke jam is probably a country song.

Jill Heller

Casting Account Manager

Effie joined Backstage after five years of working as a casting associate for various film and TV projects. She likes documentaries, books and traveling.

Efthimia Reich

Casting Editor

Elaina is a native New Yorker by way of Syracuse and London. Backstage is one of her first "real jobs" after graduating college, and she has dabbled in acting, screenwriting, and videography. She enjoys spicy food, conspiracy theories, and trying her best at karaoke classics.

Elaina Crocket

Casting Editor

Kailyn joined the Backstage team as the staff accountant in 2019. When she's not running numbers, Kailyn enjoys running races. She also loves cooking, reading, wine, and dogs.

Kailyn Ciancarelli

Staff Accountant

Jan joined Backstage as a Platform Product Designer in late March 2020. He's self-taught with skills ranging from visual design, interaction design, rapid prototyping to some front-end (HTML/SCSS). When he's not fiddling with design, he enjoys rice crispy treats, likes peanut butter, plays ping-pong, and listens to alternative/nu-metal.

Jan Cantor

Platform Product Designer

Prior to Backstage, Gabrielle started her career working in advertising sales for a multi-media publication in Sydney; and in a quest to fulfill a lifelong dream she later moved to New York to work as a marketing consultant helping start-ups grow and find a footing in their industry. When she's not working, she's usually traveling the world, socializing with friends on a rooftop in Brooklyn or sampling the best food and wine bars in NYC.

Gabrielle Hamann

Business Development, Commercial & Brand Casting

Stephanie had a cameo as an intern in 2014 before joining Backstage full time as a professional people pleaser in 2016. She enjoys sad songs, jigsaw puzzles, and iced matcha all year round.

Stephanie Chung

Level 3 Customer Support Specialist & Community Coordinator

Richard is a former casting director who has worked in both New York and Los Angeles and tries to use his prior experience in the industry to help the customers he interacts with. He enjoys films from the 60s and 70s, watching Rocket basketball, reading Albert Camus, and good social outings.

Richard Burridge

Customer Service Manager

Neill is Backstage UK's Casting Specialist and has worked in the industry for over 15 years. When not watching the latest BBC drama/comedy he enjoys eating curry, playing snooker, DJ-ing (badly), Alan Partridge quotes and holds the quite frankly very sad title of ‘Doctor Who Camden Pub Quiz Champion 2014’.

Neill Kennedy

UK Casting Specialist

Hannah joined Backstage following years working in casting & production across the breadth of the UK. When she's not building Backstage UK from London, she's usually listening to podcasts, casting for her side projects, drinking gin and singing really, really loud in her car/house.

Hannah Williams

UK Casting Specialist

Veronika Claghorn is an experienced casting director whose credits include Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” A Philadelphia native, she worked at the Backstage NY Office before moving to Atlanta where they film “Stranger Things.” Every day she hopes to run into Winona Ryder.

Veronika Claghorn

Casting Account Manager

Rebecca is the keeper of Call Sheet, first of her name. Queen of the email update, tracker of companies, and editor of the database. Rebecca previously worked as a costumer’s assistant, actor, and personal assistant in Los Angeles. In her downtime she enjoys obsessing about The X-Files and telling her dog to stop barking.

Rebecca Welch

Research & Call Sheet Editor

Christina is a casting specialist, representing Backstage in Southern California. Before joining the Backstage team, she worked in Talent Development & Outreach at Nickelodeon. When she's not working, Christina loves to write, travel, and volunteer at her local animal shelter.

Christina Kleppinger

LA Casting Specialist

Lisa Hamil is a casting director and producer in Los Angeles. Her recent work includes the upcoming autism drama “Tyson’s Run” and the dramedy “Headshop.” She also co-wrote and directed the film “Bad Behavior” with Nicholas David Brandt, which premiered on Lifetime.

Lisa Hamil

Casting Editor

Margaret Ruling is originally from Indiana but calls Los Angeles home now and she is never leaving. When she's not making words and pictures look good, Margaret enjoys ballet classes, singing loudly, and pretending to be other people.

Margaret Ruling

Art Director

Prior to joining the Backstage team, Melinda worked for Baseline StudioSystem tracking TV development. When she's not working, she enjoys cuddling with her cats while obsessively watching every television show to ever air.

Melinda Loewenstein

Managing Casting Editor

Byron reminds everyone what it would look like if Tony Robbins motivated the regional team, just from a height & voice perspective. Currently on his third atempt at learning French.

Byron Karlevics

Regional Casting Editor

Join us.

Help us build the world’s best career platform for performing artists.

Learn about life at Backstage